As I left the house this morning there was a gentle offshore wind blowing, the ground was wet from morning rain and there was still a bite in the air. A typical spring morning in Northern California. Weather patterns can evoke memories, just like smells and sounds. This particular combination of notes took me back to Mexico.
In the spring of 2003 I was on the west coast of Mexico with two buddies. We had slowly moved down the coast, camping in beach villages along the way and surfing every morning. If the surf was good and the people were friendly then we would stay a while. The ritual was the same. Wake up before sunrise, slowly crawl out of a too small tent, fuel the belly with some instant oats, try to warm up a bit and paddle out. Like clockwork, the wind was always a light offshore before switching to a pumper onshore at around 10ish in the morning. The key was to get out early with the offshore wind and catch the swell when it was glassy and smooth. Crowds were never a problem. The rest of the day was spent sleeping, reading and playing cards away from the wind and sun. Just before sundown as everything started to cool again, the wind would die down and switch back to offshore. It was time to suit up and paddle out for a cheeky sunset surf. Good times.
Pattern recognition is combination of things, like the time of year, sights, sounds, smell and state of mind, but when it clicks into place it’s great to revisit a moment and savor it. Be open to it and explore it when it happens.