A number of years ago, before Nora, Ben and I spent a stormy day at the Pacific Ocean. It was high tide and waves were crashing all the way up the beach. When the waves rolled out, we’d run down a hill, stack up a bunch of rocks, then run back up the hill and watch the waves knock over our pile. Then we’d do it again.
On another trip, Ben decided we should walk all the way out to the first large rock at Cannon Beach. We waded, fully clothed, into the ocean. Just before reaching the rock, Ben stepped in a sinkhole and I had to yank him out and drag him a few feet back before he could get his footing. It was just scary enough to make us giddy. We drove back to Portland without pants, the heating vents pointed at our clammy thighs.
Just before we got married, we took a trip to Ecola State Park, scampering down an embankment too steep to walk back up. We saw starfish in the tidepools. The tide started to roll in and we ran down the beach to make it to a trailhead before the beach was consumed in waves. The trail wended through a rain forest. The trees were as large as buildings and everything seemed to glow in green light.
Nothing gives me a sense of well being like the Pacific Ocean. It doesn’t need to be summer. It doesn’t need to be sunny. I just need sand and water.
This weekend, my daughter and my dog got a taste of that magic.