Friday, June 13, 2008

On the shoulder

Sometimes in life you just have to pull the car over to the side of the road.

In the more than ten years since I've lived in L.A., I've been commuting to work by the same road - Highway One, Pacific Coast Highway. Each morning I drive past the Pacific Ocean. Sometimes it's clear and sunlit. Sometimes it's shrouded in fog. I come around the bend past Topanga Canyon Boulevard and see the curve of the beach below the site of the Getty Villa. Sometimes there's someone walking on the sand. Or a dog leaping in and out of the waves. I pass the cars of surfers parked south of Gladstones, and get a glimpse of them out on their boards in the water. A traffic jam is sometimes rewarded by the sight of dolphins leaping.

I often wish I were down there on the beach. But I keep my hands on the wheel and focus on the road, and off to work I go.

Except this morning.

I pulled over on the shoulder and parked the car, letting the morning traffic pass me by. I picked my way down the sandy bluff to the beach. I walked through the soft sand until I came to the hard-packed tidal sand. These guys kindly shared their beach with me.
I followed the birds down to the seaweed-covered rocks. I filled my lungs with the smell of the ocean. I listened to the waves advance on the beach, and then retreat, sighing. I just took a few minutes. Then I was back in the car.
I walked in to work still feeling the sand between my toes.

3 comments:

ifthethunderdontgetya™²³®© said...

Good for you, g.

And thanks for sharing.
~

KathyR said...

So, you've been enjoying the washboard road lately.

I saw dolphins while waiting for the light at Topanga & PCH just this last Thursday. It is such a treat to see them.

JCK said...

This was beautiful! So glad you treated yourself to these moments!