It was a good day to say hello to the ocean, from the West Cliff Drive walkway with four generations of women in my family.
But first we shopped for veggies and J and R made baby bok choy tofu stir fry. Delish!
Then we got out for the walk on the cliffs — along with dozens of families with small children, many dog walkers, rafts of surfers, bicyclers of all styles, and teens making the scene. Cars drifting by, scooters and skate boarders. The air was a balmy 70 degrees with the wind only 2 mph. Over the cliff, dozens of wet-suited surfers on boards bobbed along in the low tide below waiting for waves. And the water was smooth and almost still.
We got a bench spot for D. to rest while J. and R. went down the sandy stairways to the tide pools. D. routed for the surfers to get a ride while I took a walk up the road.
Ocean, I have not seen you in awhile. It looks at though you’re doing well, as ever. You don’t look a bit older. I like that pale shade of blue you’re wearing in this light. Very sympatico with the light haze of clouds in the otherwise clear sky.
Your narrow beaches below the drive still draw sunbathers, and kids who want to puddle in the waves, and silly dogs who will chase sticks into the water and swim back with them in their jaws.
And the rubble of sandstone and kelp covered rocks mixed with broken concrete and other ways we keep you from undermining this popular street have a peaceful look today in the sunshine. There is no hint today of your fits when winter winds squall.
Have you been doing meditation? You really are quite serene.
After a dive for mussels or crustaceans the cormorants who sit in the Monterey cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa) and in the Monterey pines (Pinus radiata) fan out their wings to dry off. They watch you, Ocean, not only for the snacks you offer, but attentive to the seasonal stories you tell — your tales of whale migrations, with leaping pods of dolphins, and how the moon may tell the tides what to do — which amuses you, because nobody is your boss. They, the drying birds, watching in a forgetful kind of way, become part of the silhouettes, settling in with the tourists and locals who are enjoying West Cliffs. The noise of children’s voices, cars, and people talking as they walk.
R. and J. returned, climbing the long, windy sandy stairs up from the tide pools. J. brought D. a stone; very round and super polished by the fine sand and wave action. It felt almost silky.
J. asked a man (who was kissing his woman friend) if he might take our photo, which he did cheerfully. We leaned against the rail with the water in the background to verify that we had indeed made it out to say hello to the ocean.
If you live where you can say hello to large natural wonders, don’t forget to take the time to pay your respects and enjoy nature. We had a gorgeous day in December and you may live in a place where you have to wait for spring or summer to see the mountains, or rivers and falls, or woods, or lakes. They are wonderful, constant friends who ask very little and give much.