Sometimes a long interval of weeks, even months, goes by without me visiting the nearby beach along our northern California coastline. Manchester State Park Beach is a several miles long sandy beach, often spotted with new driftwood cast ashore by recent storms. Visitors to the beach, especially those with kids, delight in building shelters, or ‘forts’ from scavenged limbs and broken boat timbers. One of my occasional pastimes is to do a quick sketch and painting of the more interesting ones.
On one of my early morning spontaneous hikes across the sand dunes to the ocean, a spongy, sandy trek that gets my heart thumping, I arrived at a near empty beach that had been scoured by strong tidal waves. Hardly any driftwood in sight, except maybe that one small dark clump up near the northern end, where the Garcia River empties into the ocean. I started walking that way and every time I looked back from the rolling surf to the beach the clump seemed to have moved a little. As I got closer I could see this little guy inching toward the surf as I approached:
This pup may have lost his mother to an orca pod, or some other calamity at sea in our era of uncertain ocean conditions. He looked like he was ready to go back into the surf to search again for her, and I could only wish him well, and stay safe.
Perhaps we both had an opportunity to reflect on–who is this guy watching me? and the challenges of different sorts facing each of us. A fanciful conclusion to a road taken for this morning.
Manchester Beach Shelter—Rm w/Vu, a/c, Olympic-size pool