My view of the earth, the part I can see from my chair here, is turning gradually away from the sun. The sun, a blazing mass of hydrogen with shooting tendrils of gas that arch far out into dry cold space, is roasting our blue planet wherever it shines. I hear it sizzle if I listen.
I am riding the grand blue ball eastward, feeling the cooling breath of twilight ahead. Across the way, a short distance from my window, the last light of the evening is setting the leaves of my neighbors' trees aflame with light, a searing light beaming horizontally, parallel to the street. The wind has died down for now, and I can hear the din of distant waves kicking up along the long curved shoreline.
Yesterday, we stood on Monterey State Beach and watched the sweep of waves bubbling and foaming back and forth across the tanned, curvaceous swells of packed sand. They eddied back out again in wide ripping currents that made an effervescent hiss. I felt an increased intensity of energy in the sea, building and changing with the season. It's a mean ocean, beautiful as it is. Tons of water, undertow, cross currents and riptides must be watched as well as wind gusts, logs and kelp washing in and out of the water's edge. Those who are lax or inattentive are sometimes lost.
We parked above the beach, strode like giants down the steep dune to the more level beach below and then headed north, eyeing the waves, running for higher ground when they rushed up to us.
After a few miles at a steady pace heading north on the wet sloping sand, we trudged back up a steep dune and looked back to take a look at the vista spread before us. The water was a dark titanium blue and a bobbing cluster of small fishing boats out in search of sea bass were collected a mile offshore. Waves' constant muffled low roar was the voice of nature in full cry. A scuffing wind made small white crests, brisk enough for small sailboats to keel over before it.
One man, dwarfed by the dome of sky and expanse of ocean, stood alone below us, a solitary figure, buffeted by the wind. He looked ahead to the tossing sea and boats, alone with his thoughts, with the elements of nature constantly jostling for his attention. Tides and bright sun never leave you untended, always demand your respect. You may seek solitude in nature, but, unlike a place built by people to segregate, silence or confine, nature is always vigorous and stimulating in constantly changing ways.
Causes Christine Bottaro Supports
The Nature Conservancy, California State Parks, The United Way