Monday, April 13, 2009

At Pismo Beach

The beginning of the spring quarter is a new start. It is the time of the year when the earth looks splendid, but you can’t really spare the time to recline on a summer chair and leisurely build castles in the air. But you can do the next best thing. You can steal a few hours to build sandcastles by the beachside instead and soak your legs in the briny waters. The sands do shift fast and the waves come crashing towards you at a terrific pace, don’t they? It’s better to surf the calm seas before they turn turbulent in thunderstorms. I used this heavy logic to convince myself that I needed a quick break to rejuvenate myself before I immersed myself in another intense quarter. It was a decision which made my weekend positively exciting because I was down at Pismo beach with family and friends this weekend, having just the sort of quality fun that I crave for.

It was Sunday. The sun was shining, and the Oceanside was mildly crowded. But the people were lazy. Even the little sandpipers looked quite at ease with the world as they walked about here and there, pleasurably gulping down little worms along the way. It looked like the perfect illusion of peace---it was just that sort of little place which makes you feel like time is slow and always handy. It’s that exact situation where you feel humbled before the vastness that is the ocean, yet enjoy the sublime experience of having all your fears swept away. My heart throbbed as I stood by the ocean, and felt the sands below my feet shift and move away rapidly with the waves. I enjoyed the sensation. After the initial reluctance, I dived right in. We formed a human chain and screamed at the top of our lungs as we bobbed up and down with the waves. It is one of those very stupid things which bought immense relief. The sound of the waves in my ears has a strangely soothing effect on me; it echoed deep harmony and oneness with the Ocean. But I could also feel the pulse of the pacific as the waves hit my back and I screamed in delight. I felt absolutely wild, untamed and free—like there weren’t any rules to life. I felt like I could have stayed there forever.

That was only until I observed that the shadows were growing longer and my feet, more numb. I thanked the pacific, and waddled towards the beach to spend the rest of my meaningful time building a sand castle with a five year old, who cheerfully re-taught me long-forgotten rhymes.

“I love the mountains; I love the rolling hills,
I love the flowers, I love the daffodils…”

I giggled as I sang along with her, understanding how happiness could be so easy to find. I repeated in my head, “I love the beach, I love today….I love the way we had fun, and wish for it stays the same!”

At the end of the day, my hair was tangled, my feet was caked with a considerable amount of beach sand, and I was shivering in the cold. But I was still grinning as we headed back home, singing “I love the mountains…” again: The world seemed perfect once more, and it would take quite some effort to break that spell again!