the Grom * Ꝋ

Everybody loves the gremmie. She’s always smilin’ and stoked, and waterlogged. She’s our surfin’ virgin. She lives to surf and surfs to live. Surfing is a dream, and every session a dream session. She is charming, enjoys the beach life and shares of her joy. She is learning to trust and respect her Mother Ocean. The grom is always hopeful, never fazed by conditions, and everly optimistic about swell. She might purl, and may even go over the falls, but she’ll surf anything. The grom surfs today and leaves things for tomorrow. He is a harlequin helgie, the Peter Pan of surfing. His surfboard is a projectile and he spends a lot of time in or underneath the whitewater. You may watch the grom grovel with a wet, sandy wetsuit, or even catch him sleeping with his board. At worst the little gremlin may be afraid to paddle out. Regardless, he is hooked on surfing. The grommet has tasted “the feeling.” She is nascent waterwoman learning to distinguish herself as a surfer.

Joao Pedro Moraes by Daniel Bota

The menehune has great mana, the genesis of which probably harkens back to a time when the chief and chiefess were surfers. It took a whole Hawaiian village to raise an ocean children. The grom has a childlike sense of play. She is lighthearted, if not lyrical. She sings her song. He is unadulterated, untainted, uncomplicated and carefree. She is purity in action, without analysis. Their innocence is bliss. The grom doesn’t know what not to do. While others are thinkin’, he’s doin’. Or he just did it. He doesn’t have a reason why not. Life is for livin’. Life is but a carnival. No regrets, “no worries.” The grommet doesn’t look back or cutback, she’s just straight down-the-line. She’s on a surfquest through surfingdom invested with an insouciant curiosity. Unbeknownst to her she naturally assimilates the cycles of nature, innately in tune with ebb and flow, ocean and earth, sun and moon, dawn and dusk. She has a natural sense of wonder and is in awe of the sea. She is satiated by the ocean, which leaves her less the material girl.

She is naïve, but natural. He is the unheard prophet. The grom is our teacher. He makes evident the folly of youth. He is deficient. He doesn’t heed warning. He doesn’t listen. He is undirected, undisciplined, unaware and at times even aggravating. As neophyte, she cannot see the ocean for the waves. As tyro, he is Tom Grom, charter member of the tom tom club with doubting Thomas and Tomfoolery. The grom has no sense for the price to be paid. As he is careless and not traveled, he often follows a painful path to acceptance. The grom needs affection and understanding.

Illustration by Alexandre Flores Torrano

The grom asks you to plunge deeply into life. Breathe life into the unforgettable. Show your appreciation. Be animated. Do you choose not to acknowledge that in yourself? Are you afraid to be foolish? Do you censure yourself? Consult the grom within. What do you need to bring to life? Do you keep your gremlin under wraps? Let him out to play, he won’t scare. Are you holding yourself back? She only grows by falling. Free your fool within to fully be themselves. Let her passion flower and come to blossom. He’ll be stoked! Surf life like a grom. “If you have wonder in your mind, you will have wonder in your life.” Wonder will keep you young at heart.

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