Before I started sewing, I went to the beach. I have more photos of the Pacific from The Hook in Capitola than is good for me. And again I’ve added to that collection, a few more snapped on a pleasant sunny California day. I brought along a friend, who is nearing the end of her visit. We’ve had a lovely week together, capped off by this excursion to the ocean.
As I strolled, peering down at the changing waves, I considered the alterations since I last trekked about this stretch. It was New Year’s Eve 2013 or New Year’s Day 2014; so much has occurred since that rather brisk end of year/beginning of another as the sun rose, signaling another day, but so much beyond that. Dad was alive, no sewing going on, The Hawk in its infancy. No grandkids either might I add, and fifty loomed in the distance. Now that’s on the cusp as well as nearly a year since my father died; how funny are all the parts that converge as time passes.
But the ocean keeps ebbing and flowing, one of my favourite parts of observing it. It never stops regardless of what is happening in our lives. And even better is how it never looks the same. If all my Capitola photos were compared, no two would be exactly alike. A wave’s height and breadth can’t be repeated; each visit to Capitola is as unique as every dip and curl of the water.
I try to keep that in mind as these changes seem daunting, or still so odd; can it be that my father has been dead almost an entire year? Well, it had been over two years since I’d stepped onto the sand; time does not stop. But my perception of time has been wrenched from how I used to consider days and weeks…. Over the last few months, the minutes and hours have blurred as if I live in two worlds, that of right where I sit and a far less corporeal existence more like the rolling of waves. Dad’s gone, or is he? Maybe he’s behind my shoulder as I type or was he at The Hook, walking by my side. Eternity doesn’t seem so fantastical of an idea as it used to be.
Not that I feel ill, although I do note more aches than previously; I am an abuela, after all. I’m also keenly aware of how beautiful is this life, how expansive like the Pacific. These past forty-nine years are but a drop in the bucket, like all the pictures I’ve taken at The Hook, all the words written, quilts sewn. A vast horizon awaits, draped in mystery and joy. Sometimes it will look like the ocean, a grandchild’s gorgeous smile, or the warmth of my husband’s strong arms. But how much is tantalizingly just past my view, but as familiar as these photos as if all my days will be spent at the beach.
What a terrific notion, ha ha. Maybe Dad is fishing along the Sacramento River, one of his fave spots. Our time in this realm is mysterious, or maybe it’s as obvious as the earth revealed at low tide. I love viewing the beach in this manner, like a blanket has been pulled back, proffering a peek at a usually hidden world. Our lives could be deemed the same, the outer layers like high tide, but underneath, ahhh….
Bring on the continued mystery! I can’t wait to see what happens next.