As the days turn cooler here in New Mexico, and nights drop below freezing, I cling to thoughts of the beach. The last time I was on the beach was last month. The tide was low, and the sun was sinking, warm on my face and my sister was by my side.
The idea of Endless Summer is nothing more than a dream, a wish maybe, from folks who live in places where it will soon be Autumn or Winter. In California, Southern California, the beginning of Summer is marked by the water, not the leaves on the trees or the smells on the air– those change subtly, gently, quietly. But the water, cold most of the year, in summer can warm up to 75 degrees, and the leopard sharks come and the jelly fish flourish and its time to swim. It sometimes feels like it happens overnight. The end of summer is also marked by the water. What was one day 75 degrees, became 65 degrees over night.
I have a somewhat inconsistent tradition to meet up with my friend Karin, more frequently in the summer, to go to Blacks Beach in La Jolla. Most people know Black’s beach because it is a known nude beach… It’s one of my favorite beaches in all of San Diego county, not because its nude (I keep my swim suit on, by the way). I like it because it is a rigorous hike in and out, which keeps most people away. It is serene, and never crowded, and a good workout to walk back up that hill.
Walking down this hill (pictured above) or stopping on the way back up, you can hear the sea, a song on the canyon breeze, and for a moment you can forget that just a mile away is a freeway, and over a million people.
I love the ocean, the tangy smell, the way the water feels on your skin, the salty taste on your lips after you’ve come out and even the way your hair feels stiff and spongy when it dries with salt water in it.
I usually hang out in the shallow section and body surf or boogie board, but this summer for the first time, I swam with Karin to the bouy and back. It’s way past the breakers, maybe 1/4 mile out by my guesstimate.
I was scared to go out that far. But I did it. And the next week I did it again. And I was looking forward to more, but now the water is cold again, and the air has taken on a crispy tint that tickles the back of my throat so I know its Fall. I’ll have to wait until next summer.