@ Sea with B.Harry

Thankyou Kate Motaung for triggering a revisit to my 7 year old self, in a place I loved and was terrified of: the Sea. Here I got something I’ll never let go of: how to ride a giant wave!

Word: RISK, 5 Mins.

Age 7 is a tricky sweet dangerous age to utterly trust a stranger, in a spot like that, deep sea. Those waves weren’t called Breakers for nothing. But Bro. Harrison (name unchanged*) was the kind of human any family would trust.

This was the Bay of Bengal, summer. He was an Australian lumbering red raw sunburnt priest on vacation from a Boys’ school in Darjeeling; he was dear and kind and sweet. Would take endless pictures of us, and himself, all black and white. He’d send us statutes and post cards from Italy and wherever he went. Summers were in our little coastal tourist village; he loved Indian fish fries, and Dad’s laughter in our veranda overlooking the sea. Then he’d hoist me over his shoulder to the beach. Ofcourse I trusted him, and he proved his worth in sand and mid sea, even with a six footer wave crest crackly overhead, spiffing white crystal fire in the gold sun.

I was afraid;

the Sea was a scary beautiful friend. She’d sweep out her large green blue skirts at my toes then swing them back in to herself, tempting me to go in deeper. I’d run in for shells, then fly back out again at another wave that chased me right to the edge of our hard flat beach, up the massive sand bund to where our compound wall overlooked a panoramic 180 degrees of this terrific watery Friend.

Brother H. as we called him, (he refused to be called uncle, flouting all nice Indian courtesy to senior relative), said it made him feel older than his 50, and that he was a child inside. He was. He was also a sort of Angel, no trace of guile or meanness, only the joy of living life to the full.

Come on, old lady!” He’d yell over our mulling muttering crash- echoing Bay. He was a certified Life Saver, I didn’t understand that but it made me feel important, and saved somehow from the churling tide, its rush and fervor, its lunging, pulling, eddy and mega swill.

B. H. would ask me to hold on to the tube and trust him as we paddled deeper in to where waves began.

The idea was to go through that startling blue water wall before it crashed- then ride its crest all the way ashore.

It was the most somersaulty crazy thing I’ve experienced or ever will. If I’d known how to swim, it would’ve not been as dangerous. Here I had to trust Bro. H., I had to go where he said, hold tight no matter my nose and face were smashed in that coaster, no matter I was in a sand-&-water rollercoaster, ears and brain thounding (yeah, you’d get new words) with the crash of tide in maddened swell.

The sound it still startles me but not as much as the glory of re-surfacing in great gulp of air, Bro.H’s laughing grey blue eyes, his lung full of a whoop shout, as we settled in the shoulder of yet another giant wave as she rode us all the way back to shore….

where sometimes dad or ma waited, wondering that I needed this.

Years down, I’ve relived that time there, over and over. It’s one empowered way to ride a risky wave like that – in the sea, or in Life elsewhere: surprise that Thing that’s coming at us, go through It holding on to the Hand that holds you & me better than we could hold ourselves, then break free as the Breath of God kicks in Life in our frame,

ride that Wave for the sheer joy of knowing that’s why there are Waves and Oceans, Sands and Seas in the stories of our lives.

Thankyou Kate M. & Storytellers, and all of Blog world for reminding me; I’m feeling 7 years old, at sea with the Hand that holds all.


*years down, I searched Facebook for him, we’d shifted cities and we’d lost touch. He wasn’t the kind to stop writing or telling us where he was, but he did. I suspected the worst; and found his smiling black and white profiles in a FB page dedicated to him by people who knew him, as we did too. Bro H. was/ is one if the most magnificent human beings ever created: he taught this 7 year old to walk on high walls, chase sand crab, find sea horse, race waves, love sea boats, love life no matter where….


27 thoughts on “@ Sea with B.Harry

  1. Thank you for this beautiful story. Some people have that gift, of touching our lives and leaving a mark forever. Your memories were so vivid and pure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thankyou Gina, for being here and blessing with your gift of understanding. Yes, I’m grateful for these mementoes. And for words. And blogs. And people like you. Life’d be 1 dimensional without it all.๐ŸŒป


    1. Bro Bruce, I was sure I replied to you at once, ut cant seem to find it, and some others’ too. Am so sorry. Yes a precious time, and I’m very grateful for the angels God sends our way to remind us of what life really is, as gifted to us by HIm. Each day brings with it, a host of stairwells to His core. SO much we misunderstand, misinterpret, or forget. I was so glad here for this Friendly Group Prompt that reminded me of a precious Friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful narrative! The ending reminded me of a braodly similar situation (which had a different ending), and you inspired me to put it into verse. I hope you don’tmind that I offer it below?

    There was a friend I’d had for years,
    we’d run for miles on golden sand,
    and then he up and disappeared,
    and I did not understand.
    “Gone walkabout,”, our mates implied,
    they saw him up Kalgoorlie way;
    rumour was he might have died,
    but he was in Darwin yesterday
    to work a passage up the blue,
    up the Hippie Trail’s blind alley
    to see if all the tales were true
    and Nirvana lay in Bali.
    Don’t think he found what he did seek
    ’cause he came back to Bondi Beach last week.

    I’m in the #1 spot at Five Minute Friday this week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wowww… thankyou for your warm response to my little story here, and how creative you are, #1 spot at FMF, will check soons I can. Just got home, but will be reading soon. Cheers, dear creative friend๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐ŸŒป


    2. Hey, FMF friend๐Ÿ˜ƒ hi again, you said you were at #1 this Friday link, Andrew? Just went on there to read, wanted to clarify. I absolutely love the way you put that piece together, though I feel theres more to your story? Was unable to comment, am not on Blogspot … will check again tomorrow. God bless my dear bro.


    1. Truly sorry for delay in reply, and so glad you resonated with this one. Yes, this turned out to be a tribute I should have written a long time ago but hallelu!… for such great Prompts that bring out stories we must remember, in gratitude to those who left hearts prints in our lives.


  3. A beautiful memory! There are so many lessons learned in this story of a good man of God. I sense that you learned to trust Brother H. as “training wheels” for learning to trust God….

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.