Missing a few neighbors and friends? We might all be in San Diego. San Diego locals call us “Zonies,” poking gentle fun at us. Californians claim that every other person in their state is a vacationing Arizonan from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
There are jokes made about us, but we don’t care. We’re too cool at the beach to worry about much.
Life is different here. Surfboards and fishing poles are the day’s essentials. iPads, computers and phones are silenced, all drowned out by roaring waves. Important matters are usually centered around which bait is best for an early morning catch. Finding sand crabs is a big ritual. Lures and hooks have to be organized. Poles and lines have to set-up just right.
Surfboards have to be waxed to get a good ride. Wet suits have to be rinsed every night, and waves need to be caught at optimal times during the day. Tides need to be understood so you can push off at the right spot. Lots of things have to be considered to make it safely (in one piece) back to shore.
Life holds many pleasures, some common ones that require nothing more than time and curiosity. Have you felt a starfish lately? There’s nothing in the world quite like it. When’s the last time you walked barefoot outdoors in the sand? Could you spend an afternoon watching waves? Do you know the “secret technique” used by the pros when building sandcastles? (Adding water — lots of water while they build).
Oh, did I mention that one to four days after the full or new moon, the grunions (little fish) slither up on the beach to lay their eggs? They come out after 10 at night, so walking the beach with a flashlight, waiting to witness this surreal and amazing phenomena, becomes an important ritual. Hundreds of silvery, glimmering fish all beaching themselves is quite a sight!
I usually ponder these and other mysteries while at the beach. Some questions have no answers. Have you ever noticed that a 2-year-old with squat little legs can outrun just about any adult?
Why do we think that television and video games matter so much, when children can go for a week with nothing more than a bucket, shovel, sand and waves? How can the moon in the sky control the tides on the shore? Why does the sun seem to sink faster when it’s falling over an ocean? Hmm, more mysteries to ponder.
Looking for the true meaning of life? Live it one wave at a time, run like a 2-year-old, play like a kid in the sand, and touch as many starfish as possible. Remain curious so you can enjoy the wonder of a midnight walk in the light of a full moon to watch grunions make their way to shore. More insights might be coming, dear readers, but my board needs waxing. Until next week, stay cool; hang 10. Surf’s up!