Friday, May 15, 2009

Una Joya

The Cove is a jewel. When we were there last Sunday, I was reminded of many, many happy times spent there. I can recall visits from 20 30 many years ago. I swam there when I was pregnant with William, from the cove, up coast around The Clam and back. If the surf isn't too rough it's nice. If the surf is up, the undertow at work, it can get a bit hairy. I have not been snorkeling there since Geoff and I discovered Hawaii. Hawaii spoiled us, but The Cove is full of fish and sights, and in spite of the cold and murkier water I think I would like to snorkel there again.

In the Summer and Fall sharks come in by the hundreds and can easily be seen at La Jolla Shores... leopard sharks, which are harmless, unlike leopard seals which are toothy and aggressive... shudder. Leopard seals live far, far away. I would love to kayak from The Shores and see the leopard sharks and garibaldi.

I am trying to recall... was it in Cannery Row or Sweet Thursday when Doc came to La Jolla to collect specimens for his lab? I think I was too young when I read Steinbeck. I mean, it was good to read his books and I loved them, but it may be time to read them again. I am sure they would have a different voice than they did when I was eleven.

Thanks to John Steinbeck, I read about low tides and tide pools, but it was my mommy and my middle school science teacher, Carol W., that instilled my love and curiosity for the intertidal world, the tiny pools and marvelous residents. My mom brought us to The Cove and Mission Bay, to many ocean side spots where we parked our gear in the sand and went forth for all day explores.

Holding octopi and catching crabs is enjoyable enough, but I have found that just saying the names and identifying the animals in the pools is delightful.
Sea Hare.
Sea Star.
Keyhole Limpet
Sea Cucumber.
Brittle Star.
Sand Shrimp.
Hermit Crabs.

Carol was my science teacher for four years. She brought us to the beach for P.E. too. We bodysurfed. Sometimes I stop writing and just sit reflecting, quietly filling up with all the good memories and recollections of experiences that I treasure. It does no good for my writing, but sometimes gratitude and happiness are almost too sacred for words.

It's hard to not have a good time at the beach. I can bring a ton of gear... towels and food and toys, a change of clothes, a book, hats and sunblock and fins and an umbrella, or I can just arrive and make the most of nothing at all. Say "hi" to the lifeguards, watch the surf, walk, talk, jump in the ocean and shiver on the beach. I wonder if Hans remembers bigger or better... he taught me this game of creative beach begging.

20 minutes later
Sorry. I was lost in thought.


Em said...

How lovely! I love the sense of solitude when you're snorkling or swimming, you can look over to see that you're not alone, but you can also lose yourself in the place/time/tide.

mtnchild said...

Aren't good memories grand?


Tiglizzyclone said...

Cool gathering of the birds!

d.a. said...

"but sometimes gratitude and happiness is almost too sacred for words."

Yes, this.