Sunday, October 16, 2011

Crash into me.

This morning we went on a walk to the beach, much like we have other weekend mornings since we've been here.  We stumbled down the steps to the beach in our usual single file manner and stepped out onto the rocky shore.
I've seen beaches before.  I've seen this beach before.  I've laid out on beaches, fallen asleep on beaches, played catch on beaches, made sandcastles on beaches, and have had cool tropical drinks with little umbrellas on beaches.  But I've never before fallen in love with a beach.
Have you ever watched a wave - a Large wave - a Beautiful wave - overtake the beach in front of you?
I mean really watch?

Let's start with the color.  I don't know if it was the way the sun was shining just right this morning, but the ocean was a color different than any I had ever seen.  A few years ago when I was in San Francisco I was looking at beads with my friend Stephanie when  I picked up this string of grayish/greenish/blue beads that I thought were beautiful.  She saw them and instantly commented that they were the color of her ocean.  Her ocean - as though taking ownership of it.  I had seen the ocean...the San Francisco ocean that looked grey like the sky it met on the horizon, the Caribbean Ocean that was a tint brighter than any turquoise I had even imagined, and even the North Carolina ocean, with its deep blue/grays.  But today I saw the color of her ocean, now my ocean....which matched perfectly with that string of beads.
My family and I stood there silently staring at the ocean for at least 15 minutes.  In Miles and Liam years, that is like 2 hours. No one spoke.  No one ran around restlessly.  No one whined or said they wanted to go home.
Each wave began as a swell that grew into this towering wall.  Consider just this action.  There is something so agressive about the way a simple wave approaches the beach.  It feels like a group effort - so powerful.  As it falls forward and takes over the studded beach, tiny pebbles literally jump up in the air...willing it to slow down.   The sacrificial lamb...the way they pop up over the crashing wave; each at a different moment, begging it to stop.  It seems fruitless and silly, until the wave reaches our toes.  By that time it is this gentle cloud of white foam.  The aggression is gone, but the life still exists.  And then my favorite part...the sound of it retreating.  As is falls back into the ocean it makes this the light, gentle popping you hear when you turn over an American Indian rain stick.  The sound of the foamy bubbles running over the rocks and pebbles as they are pulling back to the sea.  A deep exhale....a release

Everything about it was beautiful...and calming...and perfect.  I wish I could package up the experience into a tiny little box and send it to everyone I love back home.  I wish I could have shared it with others that will never understand how amazing it was.  And I hope I remember it for as long as I live.