Standing at the Bluffs: May 13, 2020

La Selva Beach bluffs 5.13.20

I am so lucky to live here, to have grown up here (well, more to the right, in the video, closer to the cement ship at the end, but you get my point.) I literally grew up on this strip of sand. I have photos of my grandparents on this beach. I ran along this beach, frolicked in the surf when I was 10 on walks with my mom, who was pregnant with my sister.

I’ve made out late at night on this beach, and been chased away by the rangers 😳, I’ve cried, laughed, partied, watched my babies eat sand and learn to love the sea in a way I never have.

I’ve argued on this beach, had epiphanies in this beach, made big and little decisions walking this shore. Looking out across this great grey expanse I have longed for more, for less, for guidance. That never seems to change.

Honestly, I prefer the grey and stormy ocean, the thick, wet fog, the smell of salt and leftover bonfire smoke. There is so much life out there – birds, fish, pelicans that surf, dolphins that commute one direction and then the other each day, huge whales who I have watched roll playfully in the shallow shore waters, orcas and seals and seal lions, and sharks. Many, many great white sharks that were born in silver iridescent pouches by the decaying ship and have come home every spring – first 2 feet, then 4, 6, 8, 10 and now – this year – 11 and 12 feet.

They killed a young man here Saturday. Others have died in these waters too. Drowned on accident or in purpose, like the boy in my neighborhood who weighed his backpack with rocks and jumped in.

And every time I stand here, before the sea – calm or roiling, grey or deep blue, or turquoise even – I feel calm, a sense of home. I’m not a water baby, not a surfer or an ocean swimmer, (I prefer a freshwater lake, thank you very much) but this coast is home to me.

I’ve seen snow on this beach, but never have I seen it empty. Like it is between 11-5 each day, the ocean even closed because of the shark attack. It will open up again one day, not too far in the future – just like our hearts will, our minds, our sense of possibility and wonder and joy to be alive, together, on this strip of earth where the soil meets the sea. 💙

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