“Life’s fairy tale will be af­firmed Amid en­coun­ters and let­ters Seek the sent di­a­monds of pos­si­bil­i­ties But harken to the call­ing waves You must look be­yond Into the far dis­tant.” Ni­cholas Ro­erich

Surfing World - - Contents - By Albe Fal­zon

Ev­ery book tells a story. When you go be­yond the cover and read be­tween the lines there is of­ten a deeper ad­ven­ture wait­ing to be dis­cov­ered. It’s as if the words writ­ten are not re­ally words from the mind but por­tals to an­other world. And, so it is with the life of Midget.

As a young grom­met I felt a strong em­pa­thy with Midget. His style and grace on a wave cap­ti­vated and in­spired me. His pas­sive re­sis­tance to the sys­tem at the time was a sign that I in­tu­itively recog­nised – an al­ter­na­tive I wanted to pur­sue. He em­bod­ied all those ideals that be­came the foun­da­tional corner stones for my life.

On my first trip to the North Coast with Bob Evans, Midget and Bobby Brown were on board. Bob was mak­ing a film – The Young Wave Hunters.

Think­ing back over those times there were no two bet­ter surfers to be trav­el­ling with. In the early morn­ing light of Cres­cent Head watch­ing Midget surf­ing – arch­ing grace­fully through the long walls of those point breaks - left a last­ing im­pres­sion. Etched in my mind is the per­fected and ef­fort­less con­nec­tion that he had with each wave. Even with thou­sands of waves I’ve seen and rid­den since then, I can still re­call vividly those magic mo­ments.

Ex­pe­ri­ences shared are never for­got­ten – like di­a­monds of pos­si­bil­i­ties they re­side in our psy­che, and make us who we are. In ev­ery mo­ment ex­ists a life­time.

The times shared with Midget and Bobby en­hanced my con­nec­tions with ev­ery­thing else – they had a hu­mil­ity that I recog­nised at the time. As a re­sult I am con­stantly re­minded of the re­al­ity and the in­cred­i­ble beauty of life and tread as lightly as I can upon the path.

From the ocean a wave is born, it al­lows us to play with it. It gives to us un­con­di­tion­ally and asks for noth­ing. It then re­turns to its source to be re­born as an­other wave some­where else – a beau­ti­ful metaphor for life. Midget recog­nised that. He was al­ways in har­mony with the ocean – there was a much deeper con­nec­tion to his wave rid­ing.

I am eter­nally grate­ful for shar­ing those times with Midget and Bobby. Like pass­ing waves they leave you up­lifted with a greater love and ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the gift of life and the con­nec­tions and op­por­tu­ni­ties of­fered us through surf­ing. Each mo­ment is pre­cious – not to be wasted. There are no two waves alike, and each wave given to us is for us to share with oth­ers in our own way. Though our paths may be dif­fer­ent we are con­nected through the waves that we ride and all waves, be they hu­man or ocean, even­tu­ally re­turn to their source.

On the morn­ing af­ter Midget’s pass­ing I drove along the Bel­more River to Cres­cent Head. Things hadn’t changed much in 40 years.the river was glassy with the golden re­flec­tions from the early morn­ing sunrise. The bird life ever abun­dant hov­ered and flew over the sleepy, al­most life­less, cows and sheep. Hon­esty boxes still ex­ist on picket fences to col­lect money for the home­made jams and chut­neys placed nearby. There was an ab­sence of cars and peo­ple – a beau­ti­ful eeri­ness pre­vailed. I thought of times passed, waves rid­den with friends, great times shared through our mu­tual love of the ocean. The count­less sun­rises and jewels of light from each wave pad­dled through – of the fleet­ing yet ev­er­p­re­sent beau­ti­ful ex­pe­ri­ences we gather through surf­ing. The carpark was empty when I ar­rived. The day was in­cred­i­bly beau­ti­ful with head­high sets break­ing around the point. There was a calm­ness and seren­ity in the air – and in the wa­ter, a peace­ful­ness. The win­ter’s day, warm and en­gulf­ing, sug­gested an air of spring had ar­rived, the bril­liant light on the wave face al­most blind­ing. And yet it was more than a sea­sonal change, there was some­thing else present. It was un­like any other day – a joy­ful­ness bor­der­ing on bliss – an in­vis­i­ble pres­ence. It felt as if Midget on his con­tin­u­ing jour­ney had dropped in for a few more waves.

I heard a voice inside my heart as I walked along the path to the jump off rock, “You must look be­yond – into the far dis­tant.”

He will al­ways re­main a great in­spi­ra­tion – a great light.

Op­po­site: An im­age that ap­peared on the cover of SW VOL 11. NO 5, back when the mag was 45 cents. (Albe Fal­zon). Pre­vi­ous spread: No won­der im­ages like these are burned into Albe’s head. Time­less Midget at Cresso. (Albe Fal­zon).

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