I visit the place I grew up every week. It’s a fifteen-minute drive up the coast. An idyllic road that borders the ocean.
Last Saturday the shorelines were swirling. Whipped up sandy bottoms made for murky bays. I could see the cliffs in the distance being pounded by incoming waves. Spray lifting, spattering rocky beaches. All of this was an after effect of the rainstorm. I thought of Lunada Bay. A block from my parent’s house. The name of my elementary school. A surfer’s haven that has been in the news shamefully for the “locals” gang-like behavior. This place of extreme wealth and silly surfers was also a source of wonder for me. It was home.I had to stop by. To visit.
Others had the same idea. Most stayed on the paved road not wanting to venture onto the muddy trails that led to the cliff’s edge. I didn’t hesitate. These cliffs I knew. I walked on them and down them many times. And I needed to get closer to the attraction, the waves. The waves that brought surfers to blows. The crystal blue, churning. The energy of it draws you in.
Weeds brushed my knees. Mud stuck to my boots. By the time I got to the edge, I was an inch taller. Windswept. Remembering.
I took a few pictures to share with my parents who decades ago held my brother’s and my hand along this trail saying, “Don’t get too close.” My mother’s words stick with me like mud. Not letting go. Keeping me grounded and away from the slippery edge.
I look to the south,
to the north.
It holds what was home.
I turn and walk back to the road. One last look. A place that was home long ago. But it isn’t anymore. Now someone else is living there.
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers for Slice of Life Tuesdays. Read more slices here.