It hit me as soon as Paul and I stepped out of the car at Pacific Beach. The noise was home. Well, home on a much bigger scale...it was a roar. I couldn't see the ocean; I could barely sense in which direction it lay, but I could smell it. I could hear it, and I could feel it in the air.
I was giddy, and I'm sure Paul was laughing at me. I skipped in the dark towards the sound, and I could just barely make out the glint of moonlight reflecting off of white caps. Don't mock--it was my first glimpse of the open ocean!
We had a wonderful, relaxing weekend of just doing nothing. We watched movies and explored Ocean Shores. We indulged in breakfast out each morning. We purchased magnets and toys for the kids and had a very long conversation about cats with one of the bored store proprietors. We talked and didn't talk. We ate pizza and drank beers with the retired people in the hotel bar. We teased and laughed and just spent time loving each other.
On Saturday, we ventured out into the heavy mist for a walk on the beach. I won't say it was warm. I won't say we stayed dry either, but I loved it. Paul proved to be a hero when he found what might have been the only in tact sand dollar on the beach.
I was a little taken aback by the vehicles on the beach. I guess it's legal, but I think there should be some seperation of nature and industry. A dune buggy raced past us, turning sharp circles in the sand and drowning out the sound of the waves with its harsh motor. Mini vans and trucks, cars and SUVs lined up along the beach grass, bulging with families, teenagers, couples and dogs. It was an intrusion on the peace of the scene.
I experienced what must be the opposite of inland clausterphobia. I felt spread out and unprotected. It was hard to take in the unbroken distance between shore and horizon, and my eye reflexively searched for the curve of harbor that never came. It was beautiful and wild and chaotic. Part of me prefers the familiarity of the Puget Sound, but that's only the comfort of what is known.
It was almost painful to head home. I wasn't ready to give up our uninterrupted time of no responsibility. I wanted our time to go on forever. But then, without life and responsibility, we would never appreciate these small moments that are stolen away.