Slice of Life: What was home

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.


21 thoughts on “Slice of Life: What was home

  1. Your post inspired such nostalgia for me. This reminds me so much of the California coast that I fell in love with when I lived there in my early 20’s…a long time ago. Where is this wonderful place? In Santa Cruz, where I lived for three years and return to visit whenever possible, there are cliffs very similar to these. I, too, have walked to their edges…so I know how you felt. I hope you live somewhere equally as beautiful now.

      • Yes, very similar I think. But the surfers in Santa Cruz are much friendlier and more generous with their territory (or at least appear to be). Watching them scale the cliffs and jump into the surf is one of my favorite pastimes. By the way, I looked up the beach you mentioned where the “bad boys” hang out. That’s nasty stuff they’re doing!

  2. It’s so hard to let go of the homes of our past.., makes me think of the poem “The Art of Losing.” Beautiful post.

  3. I loved hearing about this walk, but I think that home simply stays in your heart, like the memories you briefly mentioned. I agree, that physical place isn’t home anymore. Bittersweet is my word for it. The ocean pics are amazing. It must be a really special place.

  4. You mention that you visit this place every week. Yet this time you say it isn’t home any more. What changed? You? The cliffs in the rainstorm? The surf gangs?

  5. Such beauty! Thanks for taking us there with you in your words and images. I’m glad you took the time to walk and reminisce.

  6. My favorite part…
    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.

    Seeing water meet the shore IS a kind of energy. Every time I am visiting a new place with water, I am drawn to touch it and take a photo – the Mediterranean, Lake Erie and Michigan, the Pacific.
    And I love the image of all that mud making you taller! Thanks for sharing!
    Also, I’m applying tomorrow for the August writing institute. You?

  7. I feel a sense of wistfulness–yours and mine, for there is no place I’d rather be than at the edge of the ocean. The words of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. fit this slice: “Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”

  8. But oh what a home it was. Huh? I love your use of mud on the boots, keeping you taller, holding you grounded, but also something to be careful of. Growing up is a mixture of these things isn’t it?

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