I’ve always liked the Ides of March. It’s not that I studied Roman history like a fanatic and know the origin of the concept. I know it was a warning to Julius Caesar. This day gave a sense of foreboding to some, but not to me.
In my world, March 15th, signifies the beginning of my favored season. In most calendars, Spring begins almost a week later. Not for me. I stretch my favorites as much as I possibly can. I’ll take the extra five or six days and call them mine.
Having grown up in Southern California, I’m extremely spoiled when it comes to weather. My first eighteen years were lived in smaller communities with less smog. Closer to the beach, we had off shore breezes that kept the dog days of summer doable. I never thought much about weather when I was younger. I took our blue skies, subtle breezes, and colorful sunsets for granted.
During my four winters at Berkeley when the cold air would blow through my bones, I craved Southern California’s more mild climate. During the northern summers which were mostly foggy and gray, I missed the warm sunshine I’d never truly appreciated before.
Then I spent three years in the Washington DC metro area. Three summers with heat waves that necessitated successive showers each day, and winters during which commerce and activity ground to a halt during blizzards. DC was a fascinating city and good people were there. But the thought of facing another winter or summer made the Fall leaves and Spring Cherry Blossoms a slight attraction I could live without, or visit when the itch needed to be scratched.
I returned to Southern California, with many bags and books, my diaries and dreams. I arrived again in May of 1985 and proceeded to chase the ocean for a decade. First I spent a few years on the extremely wide strip of sand they call a beach in Long Beach. I liked looking out at the flat blue mirage a quarter mile away from my window. There wasn’t much of a scent or even a song that emanated from the sands across the street from my teensy tiny one bedroom. There weren’t waves crashing anywhere for miles and the little lapping of water against earth didn’t stimulate or calm me much. At that time the beach was a visual. I knew it was there. I didn’t dip my feet in it very much, but I liked knowing it was close and I could run to it when necessary.
I spent a few years in Huntington Beach. I’d walk in the mornings. Sometimes I’d jog on the bluff all the way from 20th Street down to the pier, walking on wood over water, marveling at the activity that swelled yards below my safe stance. I was there in Huntington Beach during the storm that fell the pier. I was at that restaurant just days before Ruby’s fell into the wet chaos. I didn’t have an ocean view at that time, but I heard the waves and revelled in their effects on my heart.
After many gallon views in Laguna, I finally found myself at Tablerock in South Laguna, in a condo facing north towards the pearl necklace of Long Beach. The waves crashed night and day, fifty feet below where I lived with a man who bought the condo to seduce me. I slept, and tried to write during the hours he didn't need me by his side to be his enchanting companion.
During storms the sound was deafening. During the full moon, the orb’s radiance danced on the surface of the sea, lulling me into many a fine meditation. Here I was on a real beach with visiting whales and dolphins, tide pools thirty yards from the condo's gate. The scent, the sounds, the scenery, was all mine. I’d made it. But who I was with and how I got there haunted me, making many a day that could have been happy, a time of tension and pain. I just wanted God to turn down the noise. Often, I rolled over and pulled the covers over my head because I couldn’t appreciate the beauty before me.
I’ve never chased the waves again. Now I hear the water is rising at an alarming rate. I’ve seen them swallow hundreds of thousands of souls one fine morning, the day after Christmas. Outside my door is a crystal clear day, the best of the best.
The creme de la creme is what Spring in Southern California is to me. Now there is more peace in my heart and I can appreciate every leaf, flower and billowing cloud. I don’t want to leave. I just wish millions of others would.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
- WHAT IS THE AUTHENTIC ANTENNA?
- MY IDES OF MARCH-here it is again!
- THE LESSON FROM LIVING A DEEPER LIFE
- PUTTING PROBLEMS INTO PERSPECTIVE
- BODYGUARD, PARTY, OR FAN CLUB?
- GROWING UP, GROWING OLD, GROWING GRATEFUL
- LISTEN TO THE BLOODY BODY
- THERE BUT NOT THERE
- IF ONLY A DISTRACTION COULD DIVERT MY DISCOMFORT
- THE OUTER WRAPPER IS ONLY THE OUTER WRAPPER
- THANK THE PAIN
- WHITE HEAT
- MY BODY IS MY THERMOMETER
- TUMBLING ONTO THE BLANK PAGE
- WELCOME TO MY WORLD!
- WHY MUST I COMPARE MYSELF WITH OTHERS?
- I JUST WANT TO BE QUIET
- MY NAME IS OF NO IMPORTANCE
- ▼ March (19)