Friday, December 23, 2005

Verses in the Sand

This visit to Capistrano Beach has been wonderfully formative as well as restful for me, and through it I have come to the conclusion that I would love to eventually settle in this area fr part of each year. California – especially its beach towns – offers opportunities for the use of my primary skills (music, art and writing) that I have been on the hunt for.

The trip was an interesting blend of intensely focused inquiry into future prospects and a very deliberate blurring of all things pressing so that I could try to get a peek into the larger scheme of things. In both I was partially successful.

In the latter, the beaches, 'specially Capistrano, are always favorite spots. It is easier to look uncertainties in the face when standing with the enormity of the ocean on one side and the comfortable mass of continent on the other.

Our soggy-sandy pilgrimages to the beach were mostly Adam, Timms and I starting at the stretch of Capo Beach closest to Gram and Gramp's house and walk slowly southward along its pebble-streaked sanctuary, each picking and pocketing the treasures that appeal to us (bright pebbles, seaweed, shells and bits of white-or-brown-or-green-or-cobalt), until we are tired. About a mile. Then we walk purposefully back toward reality and home.

Every so far along the beach that day, I paused and wrote with my toe in the sand verses about what the boys were doing. As soon as I had written, I would move along to catch up with them.

As we headed back toward home only one verse of probably a dozen had been spared by the waves:

Standing on a rock
In between the waves
Itself only temporarily unmoved

The boys had found a little slab of rock just large enough for them both to perch with their toes on its edge and just far enough up the shore that the incoming tide only swirled about their ankles and splashed their knees.

Adam stood in the front facing the sea and Timms stood behind peeking around him but ducking and hanging on when the waves struck. They both laughed and called out as they played in the foam and that was when noticed they were changing and realized I was watching something very precious and as fleeting as my words in the sand.

I would not see them play very many more times. They are growing fast; Adam is almost as tall as I am, and I am certain Timms won't be as forthcoming with hugs and secret-sharing smiles the next time I see him.

So I kept a little distance and just enjoyed them as they chased and were in turn chased by the waves. I picked up a grape-size pebble - a sea-smoothed piece of nearly transparent quartz – and put it in my pocket for a remembrance.

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