A strong northerly blew down umbrellas cocked upright in the sand, so I knew I had better pack it up for another day on the bay. Watching and waiting for one of them to tumble down wind and hit me in the head made me less than relaxed. Suddenly all the sunbathers got off the beach at once. Here I am feeling Octoberish in every way, yet some days are still half-filled with summer. The beach-going crowd is mostly gone, but the warm water–well, 65 degrees–remains. The town is now allowed to find itself once again. For several summer months its identity is stolen or blended to become a thousand or even a million personalities. Even I find myself changing my thoughts about who I am when I am surrounded by so many.
That same strong wind blew fine red needles out of the redwood trees close to home, a soft blanket of them where I park my car. It’s as if the trees are cleaning house, preparing for a winter of wet. There is not enough water remaining from last year to keep the reservoirs, rivers, and creeks from presenting any sort of respectable life. They all look like wounded animals, lying in the valleys, gullies, and canyons, waiting patiently for a winter healer. The wind tells me change is slowly coming. I have not seen this sort of pressure differential blasting overhead since late spring.
A few larger set of waves arrived here on the coast just the other day. I think maybe the recent hurricane in Acapulco has stirred our waters as well. The surfers grab up all the convenient parking spots close to the popular breaks and stand around the cliffs in their neoprene suits. What a smiling bunch they are, when the swells come to town. The town itself changes its character once again. Now it’s not the playfulness of the sand bucket and suntan-oil population, but the testosterone warriors who skip work and school to come and suck up the energy of the wild sea. In another month the bigger waves will arrive with consistency and the local work force will dwindle.
Today the forecast is for 78 degrees, light with wind–a good day for sitting on the edge of the bay and maybe body surfing a wave or two. The recent mob of anchovies that spread for miles around the rim of the bay has left us. I think they have swum further out to sea, as I see large flocks of birds, some good distance offshore, eagerly feeding from the top of the kelp forest.
A full moon has been keeping me awake the last two evenings, as if it wants to talk with me. A thousand blogging kind of words roll through me, until, sometime just before dawn, I fall asleep for an hour or two, and forget the drift of our conversation. I should have gotten out of bed in the middle of the night and written down what was said. Some of the words had to do with death; then ideas were kicked around about eternity, renewal, inspiration, friendship, and, oh yes, I think I fell sleep while putting together a list of autumn gardening chores.