Thursday, June 09, 2005

reflections + bioluminescence

packaging up some beach glass beads
The other night I gave myself about twice as much time as I needed to drive to the airport to pick up my husband. The little one was sleepy so I figured I take the long way so he could sleep in the car. I drove along the coast down to San Diego and it reminded me of the old days, after getting my driver's license, when my girlfriends would pile into the car and we'd just cruise. Maybe stop at Pizza Port - which we thought was so cool because they always played surf movies on the big screen. Shop at cool little places in one of the beach towns, buying flannel pants and Airwalk if we were cool surfer chicks. We even tried surfing at one time - going to an empty beach so we wouldn't embarass ourselves in front of any guys. My dad surfs (and has surfed since he was a kid) so he lent me a board, gave me a few tips and sent me on my merry way. I don't think I ever got off my knees though. I promised to wake up every morning and do push-ups to develop my upper body strength. But eventually we moved onto another obsession - well, my friends moved on and I sort of went in my own little loner direction.
They loved driving down to Tijuana to drink and dance. Guess I was too much of a good girl and, honestly, it just didn't appeal to me. Toward the end of senior year I mostly drove the coast by myself. It was great. The beach has always been this place of reflection and inner sole searching for me. Got in a fight with mom - go sit on the beach. Feeling a little lonely and depressed - walk the sea wall. Broke up with boyfriend - sit on the jetty. And even now, when I have extra time to kill (such as more time than I need to get to the airport), I drive the coast. Windows down so I can smell the bonfires, slow so I can see the surf and always listen to that sappy radio station playing mushy love songs...and this one is going out to Steve - Steve, Amanda wants you to know that she's thinking of you tonight and hopes things can work out so you can start your future together.
The other night was a very special treat because the surf was churning up whatever it is (and I'm sorry I can't remember, some kind of micro-organism?) that causes bioluminescence...this phenomenon that makes the surf glow an awesome blue-green (kind of like a glow stick). Imagine looking out to sea, into the pitch black, and suddenly a wave is lit up for you to see. Quite amazing. Wish I had my camera with me - but I sorta doubt it would have photographed well. Haven't been able to find any pictures on the web anywhere.
It's hard for me to imagine living anywhere without the beach. And, no, it's not like I spend the majority of my time there. In fact, on our recent trip to Hawaii this woman shouted out to my husband and I, "so where you guys from?" When we told her, she replied, "oh," with dissapointment, "you look as pale as me and I'm from Colorado." (nice) But I know the beach is there. It's very comforting for me. And now, with our son, we're starting to rediscover places we grew up going to but haven't been to in years. Although we fought moving back here, there is *something* to be said for living in the place you grew up in.
I don't know that we'll always live here. But for now it's nice.

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