I have another 7 days off work as I recover from hip surgery and today I decided to grab my Kindle and go to the beach. I’m fortunate enough to live close to Zuma beach in Southern California. The Pacific Ocean shelf along that beach is very nice and produces some great waves…but I digress.
As I turned onto Kanan Road, and headed south towards PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) my little beach excursion took a sudden and profound turn. I had dialed up the local oldies station on the radio and Fleetwood Mac’s “You Make Loving Fun” came on…I instinctively turned it up and all of a sudden I was 18 and I was riding shotgun in Troy Hamilton’s Corvair and we were on our way to Zuma. I had just graduated high school and all the promise of my life lay at my feet. Suddenly, I wasn’t a divorced 51-year-old man who has survived some pretty rough spots in his life. Suddenly…I was young again.
As the blisteringly hot, tropical moisture rushed past my head through the open window, I had something of a spiritual awakening…a moment, if you will. I thought of my daughter who is currently in that zone…post high school…college freshman…world at her feet…and I was flooded with what I can only described as the physical manifestation of serenity. I was grateful. People say they are “filled with gratitude”…I know what that feels like now.
Grateful that despite some profound sorrow, I was able to feel that sensation of youth again…to recall those carefree and hopeful emotions. And to interpose that with where I am in my life right now…with two beautiful and strong kids in my life who are an unending source of tremendous pride. I live a simple existence by all standards but on that drive…I was King of the World.
I arrived at Zuma and posted a spot next to tower 3…it was a lazy Monday…not a lot of people there and 2-3′ breakers with perfect shape. I whipped out the Kindle and devoured the first few chapters of “MockingJay”. The sense of wellness continued as I headed to the water after an hour of reading. Having just had a new hip put in 5 weeks ago, I tentatively transitioned from the sand to the outer break…the water temperature was perfect…it only gets this warm a few weeks a year and some seasons, never, so even the ocean seemed to sense my mood. As I immersed myself in the cool but comfortable water, I opened my eyes and was startled at how clear the water was. When my head broke the surface and I looked down I was amazed at how far I could see into the water. Mind you, we are not talking Caribbean clear, but for a Los Angeles County beach…it was sparkling. I thought later that I could probably subconsciously feel the presence of my dad, whose ashes were spread into the Pacific under the Golden Gate Bridge some 23 years ago. The ocean, a place where the water mimics that of the liquid coursing through our veins and the final resting place of my father. A day of gratitude. Yes, it was a good day.