Yesterday afternoon, I had already done my “work” (read: apartment hunting) for the day, so I headed into the City for a walk on the beach. If you’re me, you need walks on the beach from time to time. I’ve had one coming for a few weeks now. It was overdue.
Walks at Ocean Beach are one of the very few rituals in my life. The rules are simple.
- Drive to Ocean Beach; park at the southmost end of the lot near the foot of Lincoln Way.
- Shoes and socks come off. Pants get rolled up. It’s better if you wear shorts, or those crazy cargo pants whose shins zip off, resulting in a long, many-pocketed pair of shorts.
- Walk straight out to the water’s edge, get feet wet. It hurts at first.
- Turn right. Walk northward till you arrive at the cliff wall where further progress is impossible.
- Touch cliff wall. Very important.
- Walk back.
- Sit on the sand or atop the sea wall for as long as you like before leaving.
- Drive home barefoot (with the heater on).
Yesterday, as usual, there were many things to see and notice and take delight in during the walk:
- broken sand dollars
- a lifeguard making a rescue in the frigid surf
- a man playing horseshoes
- a dog that barks at kites
- an old man shorefishing
- sandpipers catching sand crabs
- a large, washed-up, nondescript liquor bottle (no message)
- remains of sea creatures dashed to bits by the waves
- a ranger on a beautiful horse
And yesterday, as usual, as I walked I contemplated many things:
et la mer viendra pour m’embrasser
- that we all come from the sea
- that walking barefoot along the water’s edge, feet impacting that jelloey, saturated sand, feet sometimes submerged, feet numb but not hurting, is one of the most splendid modes of walking; I feel like I could walk forever along the shore
- that loneliness is not a crime, nor even shameful
- that there are afflictions that can only been seen from within, but this is no problem, as those same afflictions can only be cured (often easily) from within
- that I look forward to finding a beloved so that I can bring her to the beach and kiss her while my feet are bare, submerged, numb
- that I cannot wait to bring a child of mine to the beach for the first time
- that no matter how far back I go in my life story, there is always a beach
pour moi vais à la maison