The rain is starting but I am dry in my car for now. Perched 40′ above the beach on a tiny pull-off, occasional cars zoom by, but for the most part all I hear is the roar of surf. This is the Oregon Coast I think of: gray sky melts with gray seas and comes rolling forward in languid three foot tall waves. Again and again. The water struggles for self expression as it thins over the muted orange sands, showing a little if its aquamarine color. If the sun were to burst through the clouds, the ocean could pull apart from the sky, with deep, rich color. But for now it plays its role as chameleon well and I can’t find a boundary between sea and sky.
I am thankful for days like this, days when I can’t make out the edge of the horizon. Because on days when I can, I am confronted with size. So much in life is close in: car windshields, desks at work, walls of our home or office or coffee shop. Occasional vistas pop out but they are remarkable for their uniqueness, such as a mountain range or river bend. And we know they come to an end.
The ocean, on a clear day, presents me with problems. It knocks me down to size because as much as I stare and stare, I can not find its end. Even in a jet plane crossing the Pacific, for instance…from a height of 40,000′, even then I can’t see the other side. This vast featureless expanse makes me feel a little lost. Small. Forgotten. Insignificant.
At other times I have stood on shores like these and felt acutely part of the waves. I remember felling like I could step in and just blend. Crazy thoughts. Not even the jellyfish truly blends with the sea. It was a feeling of peace and being at home. It was also sunny that day and my skin didn’t feel the cold chill it does this day, when it is acutely aware that there is an inside of me and an outside.
But today, as the rain has finished pounding my car and I can unroll a window to let in the salted air and white noise many crave to help them sleep, I feel apart. Maybe because I am still in my car, on a bluff. Maybe because my mind is churning through the work I need to get done later today.
The clouds are lifting and the horizon struggles into place.
Maybe I should take off my shoes, climb down this bluff and see what I can find at the ocean’s edge.