A day at the beach can mean many things. My own beach dreams include mist and fog as often as sun with the ever present throb of the sea. The beach is a place of sensory titillation. The sharp scent of saltwater and seaweed, the touch of smooth stone and sea glass, the abrasive roughness of barnacles and starfish, slick wet seaweed and the velvet squish of sea anemones. My feet know intimately the various states of sand, firm and wet, soft and dry or jellyfish quivery. The sea urchins in their little condo sockets I leave to my eyes alone and they are happy I do so. The call of gull and geese, crashing waves, crunch of sand and bark of seal surround me. The ever changing sea offers itself to all senses.
I caught the rising super moon last night just as I was coming into town, huge - a mottled pale coral plate pierced along the bottom by Oregon fir trees. This morning the tide is Super Moon low revealing a misty moonscape of rocks that are usually submerged. There are few people on the beach. No footprints in the sand ahead. Standing here with haystack rocks looming up in front of me the ever present foghorn sounding its cautionary call, I am at home.
Mounds of baby sea anemones lie quietly mimicking stone. Ribbons of shimmery dark green seaweed unfurl down the side of rocks dipping their curly ends into tidepools. A purple starfish wraps its leg around a turquoise sea anemone that is open wide waving its tentacles next to an orange starfish with legs splayed open. The scene gives new meaning to the term coexist. Sanderlings skim the beach seeming to dance in flight as they gather and spread, gather and spread choreographing perfectly as they go. Next to a large tide pool hairy seaweed writes scrimshaw designs across pale stones. Across the slant of beach ahead, water flowing to the sea earlier this morning has left its travel messages in the sand. Low tide has revealed crysthanamum mounds of gooseneck barnacles around the bottoms of haystack rocks. I wonder how long these creatures can live without water and am reminded of the adaptability of so many of these living things who lead two lives.
As I round a rocky corner I hear music. There within a small cave carved by eons of wave action I am witness to a personal concert of guitar and song. A tall slim singer with guitar and music stand welcomes me with a smile into his own personal echo chamber. Through a narrow slit in the cave wall a backdrop of waves exploding upon rocks is muted by the concert’s reverberation. Sudden tears of emotion sting my eyes,
Walking across a wide sheen of water I look down. I am walking on a mirrored sky stepping through scudding clouds as a gull flies by my leg. I have a sudden sense of vertigo as the clouds drift below me and geese dive beneath my feet. Who needs New York. Here is my own Cloud City, all the illusory splendor without traveling to the metropolitan museum. This exhibit is free and it never closes.
Moving down the beach I wonder about my wanderlust. So far I have seen no place in the world more powerfully beautiful. More history of civilization yes, but this piece of magnificent earth with its many subtle and blatant life forms has been standing as long. Sunlight, shadow, water, sand, driftwood, stone, birdcall, wave sound and wind. The show is continuous, different each hour, free and open to all.