I’m walking on the beach this cold brisk morning, the bleached sea grass bending in the wind, when there, up ahead, in the pewter waves, I see a surfer in his wet suit, sleek as a seal, cutting in and out of the curl, shining in the light. I’m on the far side of sixty, athletic as a sofa, but this is where the longing starts, the yearning for another life, the one where I’m lithe and long-limbed, tanned California bronze, short tousled hair full of sunshine. The life where I shoulder my board, stride into the waves, dive under the breakers, and rise; my head shaking off water like a golden retriever. I am waiting for that perfect wave so I can crouch up and catch it, my arms out like wings, slicing back and forth in the froth, wind at my back, sea’s slick metal polished before me. Nothing more important now than this balance between water and air, the rhythm of in and out, staying ahead of the break, choosing my line like I choose these words, writing my name on water, writing my name on air.