On the Bench

More rain may be on the way. We will take anything nature can dish out. Otherwise, rationing will begin in certain parts of this county within 60 days–a cut back on baths, showers, and laundry. I may have to take my bar of saltwater-soluble soap and go wash up in the ocean, along with my neighbors. Just as scarce as rain is the number of days left in January. It looks like we have gone through all of them. One more burr month, February, and I can start thinking about spring.

The small weather system that rolled through brought clearing wind behind it. In the early afternoon yesterday I walked out on one of the fishing piers and sat in the wind for an hour to read from Emerson. The wind churned up the surface of the water near the shore, making it a bright aquamarine color rather than the colder Prussian blue. Several large strands of kelp, a bright reddish-brown color, floated in the middle of the patches of aquamarine. Pelicans were dive bombing for fish, and as they hit the water, beak first, the splash would give off a heavy spray that carried across the surface of the water in the wind. Such a pleasant and lively view, to be watching these uncharacteristic colors being stirred up from out of this energy that lives in the air.

A January wind on the bay is usually brutally cold. Unless I am wrapped thick in layers and wool hat pulled down over my ears, I wind up sitting behind a log on the beach to block the sting of the wind and the hard-blowing sand. The cold-wind days are plenty tolerable if I am dressed for them, but yesterday I had along with me only a thin sweatshirt and vest. This January wind was so warm. It reminded me of a tropical wind, such as I felt last winter when in Kauai. I found myself not having to clutch and tighten the loose clothing, but could unzip a little and allow the wind to fill up inside my vest.

The sun remained above the horizon high enough that it did not create a glare across the water and cause me to have to squint. I always wear sunglasses anyhow, just because some doctor many years ago told me to do so. It’s nice to know that I’m not burning my retinas. I was able to park myself on a bench above the water, right about where the waves below me would first peak up and then crash on the beach. There are a couple of benches on each side of the pier that are aligned about right with the action below. Even when I read, if there are waves close by, I must be able to lift my head from time to time to watch them. Nature works so hard at producing them, and the shape of them as they lift and fall to the force of gravity, will usually have my best attention.

The waves themselves are a force of energy that uses the water to hold and carry the energy. Even though water is involved, the ever-pulsing energy is what I feel inside of me, as if an invisible part of the wave spectrum is washing through me. As I sat in the wind yesterday I could see how it is more than just moving air, that it is also a form of energy that gets its source from waves of barometric pressure. And me, a mass of atoms also busy whirling in motion while somehow connected with forces outside of me that are much bigger than I am.

Waves give me more of an understanding of life than do ghosts and dreams. When I spend time thinking about and looking at different kinds of waves that surround me, I see that not much of the mystery of life is hidden. It’s all close by and out in the open. I just need the right bench to sit on and a warm breeze to fill me with inspiration.

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