I had been dealing with an important audio-visual project and when I wasn’t planning for a trip, I was scanning pictures until early morning and if not, I was worrying about it. Either way, I wasn’t getting much sleep. And then I got blindsided by a cold that I couldn't get rid of.
So, on the 18th, the presentation went off without a hitch and I was finished and then all the details of Thanksgiving were over and suddenly I had a moment when I didn’t have to do anything (not counting a growing stack of dishes) and like I said, I was able to go to the beach.
But it didn’t appear to be such a great day to go to the beach. Snow was threatening to fall in the passes, and rain was enthusiastically falling everywhere else. Once or twice a patch of blue sky hinted at an alternative to November’s moisture onslaught, but mostly these hints proved to be cruel teasing.
By some cosmic gift of timing, I ended up at Oswald State Park in-between cloudbursts.
To the Southwest, you could see a storm approaching and I knew it wasn’t the first one that had paraded up the coast that day and I was pretty sure it wasn’t going to be the last. It was hard to tell how fast it was moving, but it turns out that at this point, it was about 45 minutes away. Thick batches of sea-foam collected around rocks and driftwood or swirled like clumsy ballerinas across the thin film of receding water that was dumped from the last set of waves.
And in the brief burst of light and warmth from a strange sun, opportunistic surfers struck out into the surf paddling in faith toward some big imaginary wave, tourists abandoned the craft stores and bakeries of Cannon Beach in search of nature, and dogs rejoiced in the moment, unaware of clocks and calendars. I tried to imagine being a dog.
As I walked up the beach I saw a little girl, from a distance, wielding kelp like a whip. It reminded me of a story about a little tiger (I think) who claws at the ocean while the tide is going out and at the end of the day believes it has ‘beaten’ the ocean because it looks like the ocean has retreated.You’ve probably seen these giant kelp-whips washed up on the shore. I sense it would not be scientifically sound to say that there is an innate behavior wired into the D.N.A. of every child who ever went to the beach to use kelp as a whip, nevertheless there does seem to be some evidence for a species specific archetypal recognition of the “whip form” and an underlying understanding of the physics involved in its use.
Here briefly, it appeared that the little girl found the secret to existing in ‘the moment’ just as the dog had done.