I have taken three days off from work, to take advantage of this week’s Thanksgiving holiday. My husband’s school district has the entire week off as well.
The day being dry, we loaded the trunk with supplies and headed off to the shore with the dog – back to Bolinas, which I had recently visited with a friend.
Though dry, the air was thick with the promise of a coming storm; we were fortunate to enjoy intermittent sun. The drive into Bolinas takes one down winding roads, with bits of suddenly dense redwood forest. As it is autumn, the birch trees are turning and glow beneath the canopy of their elders.
After what felt like a long drive, we arrived and began our descent to the beach. We realized that we forgot the dog’s leash, so I rummaged in my car and found a bag of fabric that I was planning to donate; I ripped some strips and fashioned a sort of leash from flannel. It was not exactly strong, but it would do. At this point, Sadie was whining and crying to get down to the beach and run, so something was better than nothing at all.
Though Sadie was initially concerned about the strange water which rolled toward her paws, she quickly adapted when she noticed all of the wonderful seaweed smells, and the myriad shore birds. Soon she was swimming in the ocean, riding the waves, and snooping for treasure.
Here she is trolling for bits of seaweed, which she tossed in the air and then chewed. Had there been some rice and a bit of wasabi, we could have feasted on nori.
We walked along the beach for a couple of hours, then sat on a seawall to watch the dog play and enjoy the air. To me there is something engaging and even compelling about being at the ocean; its smells, the taste of salt on my lips, the freshness of the air. The power of the waves is intimidating and exhilarating – I never turn my back on the sea for more than moments, as it can swiftly sweep one away. Perhaps it is this combination of beauty and power which fills me with a sense that the ocean is an expression of perfection in the midst of this flawed world.
As we saw the sun begin its descent, we gathered our things, called to the wet dog, and walked back to our car at a leisurely pace. Sadie was overjoyed with her good fortune in spending a day at the beach, and so was I.