Living on the Left Coast

I live on the edge of the Pacific Ocean and I think its pretty much the most perfect place on earth.

I feel alive when I visit the ocean. My great grandmother loves walking on the beach in her barefeet and swears the minerals from the ocean come in through the bottom of her feet and keep her healthy. While I’m skeptical of much of her health advice, I will say that at 95 she’s in amazingly good shape. Perhaps there’s some truth in her beach walk magic after all.

This year, my brother did his science project on the power of the ocean. In 2012, the US Department of Energy suggested that, at any given moment, there are 2.2 gigawatts of potential energy available from our world’s oceans. Waves are vast, untapped, and relentless.

I think about this power sometimes when I am walking on the beach. The waves pound on the beach in regular succession and I think about all the grains of sand on all the beaches around the Pacific and the vast world under the water’s surface. So many species of plants and animals, from microscopic zooplankton to blue whales, are swimming around out there right beside me- a whole universe of organisms living and dying out of my sight. It really puts things in perspective.

My favorite time to walk on the beach is in the late morning, just before the fog starts to burn off the coast. I love how mysteriously grey the sky and water are. As soon as I turn back the way I’ve come, the sun begins to break through the gloom. There’s nothing more optimistic than seeing the sky brighten and the blue peek out, changing the color palate of the whole scene. I always feel lighter as I finish my walk, brush the sand from my toes and turn up the hill on my return.


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