Saturday, November 29, 2014

The first time I met the Pacific

I remember the first time I met the Pacific. My husband and I were driving through a Redwood grove in northern California, seven miles of serenity without another car in sight. It was then that I sensed her presence. There was still no sign of her, but the air suddenly began to stir with the promise of something bigger than the verdant foliage that had, until that moment, held my attention and my senses in its spell. I stayed on the alert for another mile, watching the road in anticipation, yet I blinked in surprise when the shade of the Redwoods was unexpectedly drawn back to reveal the Pacific in all her magnificence lying in the sunshine ahead.

My impatience to be near her made it seem as though we would never get to her, but it was not too long before we found a beach and parked. I bolted out of the car and rushed across the scraggly, wild-flower scattered grass then scampered down the rocky path leading downward to her threshold. When I at last found my way onto the sand that was clearly her turf when the tide came in, I stopped. I eyed her cautiously, measuring her power, wondering if I were woman enough to brave her strength.

As if reading my mind, she laughed a booming laugh and hugged me in a wind that whipped my hair back from my face, causing me to huddle into my jacket against her chill breath. The white froth of her surf rushed teasingly close to my feet before she retreated with a long sigh to regroup. I stepped back cautiously, thinking it wise not to test her too much, not just yet, not until this ocean and I got to know each other better, not until I knew that I could trust her not to sweep me away in a wild dance that would take my breath away forever.

I turned to my husband standing beside me. His eyes had strayed away from her to take an inventory of the trinkets she had stolen from the coastline and thrown back upon the beach in moments of abandon. He stooped to pick up a piece of driftwood she had worked on before tiring of it. While he straightened himself and examined the smoothed wood as though it were a work of art, I continued watching her in awe. It was a while before I spoke and when I did my voice strained to be heard above the thundering of her waves. “So, this is the Pacific,” I said, as much to myself as to him.



  1. Ahhh, to be hugged and so loved by Miss Ocean and Mr. Wind is pure ecstasy. I recently had the pleasure of communicating with these fervent lovers myself. But Joan, you have managed to not only beautifully captured the timbre of Miss Ocean’s voice and the power of her breath, but her intrigue and lure as well. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks so much for your lovely comments. Nice to share this piece with someone who has also listened to Mother Ocean's voice and felt the power of her presence.

  2. The first time I ever saw the Pacific was on my honeymoon. We decided to drive up the coast of California for 10 days... She was at our side the entire time. :)

  3. Spending ten days in her company, you must have seen her every mood. That's a breathtaking drive,isn't it? Thanks so much for your comment.