Great Big Blue
The water is also quite cold, due to a process known as upwelling, in which frigid water from below the ocean surface rises up to replace the surface water that moves away from the beach as a result of the Coriolis effect. The rapid rip currents and cold water make the ocean dangerous for casual swimmers or even for those who simply want to set foot in it, and many swimmers have been swept away and drowned as a result.
In fact, it is said to be the most hazardous and dangerous urban beach in the United States.
Which is why I'm hiding out here.
Just kidding. Here is where the surfers put their surfboards.
I can attest to the both the chill of the water and the hypnotizing pull of it. You can stand there as it swirls around your calves, freezing the blood in your veins, and nearly lose your balance with it all rushing about. It's beautiful and yes, it can be terrible. We went back on Sunday and the beach looked completely different than it had the day before, the waves behaved differently, the birds flew together in spectacular bursts like fireworks.
I grew up in this water, being a native, and parts of my life have been played out against its bracing backdrop. My aunt would tell us stories about swimming at the Sutro Baths there, I've tagged along with my big sister to countless bonfires and written a great deal of bad and sandy poetry on its shores, a childhood friend drowned himself there early one foggy morning years ago, meals have been had at the Cliff House, nighttime trips have been made - wrapped in woolly coats and the arms of my loverbird in the dark - when the moonlight hits all the sand blown sideways by the rough wind.
That is never changes and yet changes always is what makes its constancy so perfect, I think. Like love, no?
We just wanted to take the fresh, clean, salty sea air. We walked up and down the same stretch at least a dozen times, collecting sand dollars, shells, with M gleefully poking at anything that might be dead and rotting. The hem of my dress was still soaking wet when we left, and my right boot was still damp. We were happy and felt well!
Alas. Here I am, home sick on a glorious Monday, chained to the couch in my pajamas (well, M's pajamas) and to a lingering cold or flu or curse that wrenches deep, dry coughs from my chest and congestion that won't quit. Despite the natural remedies passed on through the generations in my wife's family, good old Western medicine, straight-up denial and everything in-between, I've been felled by whatever felled the tomboy last week. Bullocks!
She's on her way home as I type this, which is good, because I need someone to pet my head and tell me that I'm still cute as a button even when sick as a dog.
(Dogs are really very rarely sick, you know, that expression is ridiculous.)
Dress: Fairground Vest: Garage sale find for $1! Bag: Betsey Johnson Cuff: Dollywood Boots: Nocona Silver: Vintage
Also, I took this photo of some adorable high schoolers hanging out - they were so shiny and happy and really sweet: