Friday, July 29, 2011

August, Riding the Wave

 On Hapuna Beach
Riding the wave that's riding the wave-- lyrics I heard a few nights ago at a near empty cafe off Amsterdam Street. The image conjures so many waves-- past, present and future; waves  personal, in the lives of my friends, and in the country and world, at large. As the tidal wave of the world economy threatens to wipe us all out financially, all of us but those on the oil tankers or basking upon the vast yachts of the bankers, I think instead of all the healing waves that have washed over me and those I love. When I was a child, I delighted in building sand castles and watching the rising tide fill the moat, wash away the walls, inundate the castle. With the ever approaching financial limits of retirement, I see my present sand castle slipping away into the salty water, imagine all the comforts of my years of contented bourgeois life becoming austerity, or at least parsimony. And when actual retirement arrives, I plan to live as close as possible to the sea.

In my view, nothing can take the place of a walk on the beach. For decades I have lived in Atlanta, having to drive at least 250 miles to the ocean. Each year I have lived here I have driven or flown to oceans and seas all over the world. How do I love thee? Let me count the seas, from the Aegean to the Pacific coast of Hawaii, from Glacier Bay in Alaska, to Bergen's coast of Norway, to the Straights of Magellan, to the Straight of Georgia in Canada to the beaches of San Juan, Puerto Vallarta, and Manzanillo, and those long golden sand strands of shore in Australia. Whether the wild beaches of Big Sur or along the Oregon coast, or the tame Gulf of Mexico powder beaches of Santa Rosa Island, there is a sublimity to being beside the ocean, an "ataraxia," that transcends the tensions and anxieties of life in the crowded suburbs of society. 


Pacific Ocean, Hawaii
Photos from my visits to Hawaii

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