a day at san onofre

i cleared my mind.

it is only a minute from the roar of the 5 freeway, but once you are standing at the top of the cliffs overlooking the beach, the world (your world, your anxieties, your history) just falls away–like peeling skin (there is pain sometimes.)

you look to the north & you look to the south, the world — this new one — stretches out in front of you.  it would be so easy to just fly off the cliff, a seagull or a pelican (or a marine helicopter; camp pendleton adjoins the south end of the beach) & soar down to the beach & the surf (which you hear now, not the noise of the freeway, but the relentless push & pull of the ocean carried up to you on the wind.)

but wisely, you take the service road down to the sand.  there is another, much steeper staircase (constructed out of the sandstone cliff that i’ve only ever tried once — both down & up — but i get light-headed easily & have avoided it since.)

the wild dill is in full bloom, it’s neon yellow tiny blossoms in sharp contrast to the blue of the ocean & its unusual scent is mixed in with the salty ocean air.  the road down is steep & it is a tough hill to climb back up, but the rewards once you’re down to the sand are immeasurable.

today, at the bottom of the cliffs, i was greeted by yin & yang & thought that it foretold of a harmonious day, which in fact it turned out to be.  once you’re down on the sand, if you look left or if you look right, it seems to be no end in sight, a glorious feeling of freedom enfolds you.

there was also a peace sign laid out with rocks.  i hoped it was a sign of the future.

i took a moment to establish my bearings (the sun as my guide) & to contemplate the beauty of this world (this immediate world, but to be generous, all of the world–that peace sign still on my mind.)

for the past several days the carole king song, “beautiful” has been playing in my mind–i can’t seem to shake it, not that i really want to, but the lyrics, “you’ve got to get up every morning, with a smile on your face & show the world all the love in your heart,” have hit hard, struck a chord if you will (& you will) with me & they seemed embodied right here in front of me, now.

after walking about a half mile to the south, i found as good a place as any to lay my towel & stretch back & let the calm wash over me.

after getting situated, i walked down to the surf line & i looked to the west (straight out to sea) & i looked to the north & to the south & watched the waves wash over my feet & legs (brrr, cold!)

i walked along to the south for a mile or so & then turned back to my plot of sand, laid down with my arms under my head & thought of    nothing.  it felt good.  it is not always easy to think of nothing & it may take you a few tries before you succeed, but i encourage you to give it a go as it is the best way i know of feeling better about, well, just about everything.

someone with more patience than i (now that’s a clear head) had created a grouping of rock sculptures that made me think of la sagrada familia in barcelona (or at the least, of gaudi,) but i accepted their thoughtfulness & sat awhile to contemplate their artistic vision–a multi-media experience, obviously.

later, having exhausted myself from doing nothing (but you know, beauty, the beauty of nature, is exhausting,) i packed up my towel, slipped on my backpack & made the trek back up to my car, the freeway & home feeling as if i’d been gone for a very long time.


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© Robert Patrick, and Cultivar, 2008-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photographs and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Robert Patrick and Cultivar with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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