At 44 years old, there is no such thing as just another day in many ways because death and health issues among friends, family and public figures really kind of puts life in perspective. We have a short window here to do all of the good that we can and to say that any day is just another day is just not appreciative of the blessings we all have in living, loving, experiencing, learning and growing. It has taken a lot of years of ups and downs, heartaches, triumphs, failures and happy moments to crystallize this in my often times stubborn mind. Aliso Beach has been and continues to be a place that I can hear myself think, take in a deep breath of cool, clean ocean air, and get rid of the stresses, frustration, anger, disappointment and mental as well as emotional fatigue. I am grateful for that, and while I know that saying any day at Aliso Beach is just another day is absurd, I have learned to count on this beach to soothe my soul to an extent that it is a part of my routine. The routine happens sometimes daily but is available any time I feel like my cup gets too full and have to wipe away some of the tension and quiet the noise. I think everyone needs a place to mentally and emotionally retreat in our world. Computers, cell phones, cars honking, construction, and the every day hustles and bustles found in life often compete with our need to exhale, decompress and relax. Our developed world and environment clearly have an affect on us and we are wise to recognize this and balance it with things and experiences that restore the inner peace that we require. Calling a day at Aliso Beach just another day is ridiculous because it is not. It rivals Cameron from Ferris Bueller’s Day
Off telling Ferris he didn’t see anything good the day they decided to fake being sick and then proceed to terrorize the city with adventure and fun under the guise of being sick from school. I say it is just another day at Aliso Beach because the experience is routinely special and is expected daily. The even more amazing thing is that I can’t really tell you why it is special finding that my affection for this Laguna Beach location is more feeling than it is a description with words. While the experience is special every day at Aliso Beach, delivering the experiencing of special is 365 days out of the year and just another year at Aliso Beach.
At the beginning of the day, I met Nyra who was manning the post for Surfrider Foundation South Orange County Chapter for a Beach Cleanup. He has been doing this for 3 weeks and has not had anyone show up. I put an article out on the website yesterday with an offer of free art for the first person that shows up next Saturday to help Nyra with his Clean Up efforts after reading the article. I hope it helps. I will join him if that is what it takes.
I was watching a guy flying a large kite down at the south end of the beach. The kite was dancing in the wind and at times taking intense, looping dives towards the sand and narrowly missing its demise as the puppet master pulled on the strings to navigate the kite wisting just above the sand and back soaring into the air. On one dive the kite violently ate the sand and when that happened, I noticed the release of tension on the line between him and kite actually knocked him over sending him cartwheeling down the sand embankment. I walked down the beach hoping he would put the kite back up into the air so I could take a picture to be included in my Aliso Beach adventures. When I approached him I did ask him if the power of the the kite actually knocked him over and he quickly said that wasn’t the case. My assumption is that falling over like that and having me ask about it may have been a little embarrassing so I left it alone. I was interested in the power that created that situation and hadn’t given any thought to his loss in the battle to control his toy. It turns out what he was flying was a land kite and he admitted that all 9 feet of this sail and kite were extremely powerful. He was there with family from Vancouver in the country of Canada and seemed to have an appreciation for Aliso Beach. He was friendly and interesting and it was another cool conversation with a stranger at Aliso Beach worth mentioning.
As there are always are, droves of people arrived at Aliso to take in the sunset as yesterday night’s storm approached. I thought we might have a truly remarkable sunset but the clouds out west swallowed Catalina and starved the scene of the degree of sunlight peaking through the clouds necessary to fire up an extraordinary sunset. The kids were using a 6 foot sand bank along Aliso Creek from the previous day’s flushing of the lagoon into the ocean by surf photographers jumping to the bottom and sliding down. They had so much fun, I almost got up and joined them. I did allow the sand at the edge of the bank to collapse beneath me with my descent ending half way down the hill in a comfortable seated position braced by the sand cliff behind me. The sand was surprisingly warm and soft perhaps shielding my legs from the wind because as I always do, I wore shorts despite the cool and windy day. I took in the changing moods of the juxtaposition of the sun and clouds hoping for just enough penetration of the clouds by the sun to release the beautiful yellow, pink and orange colors that light up Southern California skies in the winter as storms approach. I took pictures and waited for opportunities to catch those one or two people that misjudge the incoming waves and flow of the creek. Someone is always good for a laugh and an entertaining short video. Sure enough a little guy misjudged the water between Aliso Creek and the ocean running himself into a deep spot and becoming soaked. It was cold enough for a parent to be concerned about a sopping wet child on a cold day here in Southern California and so a wise parent wrapped up playtime quickly upon seeing the after affects of the young man’s unlucky moment. When I realized that the cloud cover was not going to release the full potential for the sunset I was looking forward to, I climbed back up the berm and noticed tw0 kids in Dodger Uniforms throwing a ball back and forth with gloves on the beach. I asked them in passing if Coach Don Mattingly knew they weren’t in Arizona for Spring Training and how could the Dodgers fill out their pitching staff without them. Their mom laughed and they looked at me cross-eyed. I thought it was funny!
The lack of sunlight peaking through took its toll on the beach temperature and the cool and blustery winds began to push me off the beach. I headed for the car and headed south only to find myself up on the hill for one last shot at capturing something stupendously good! To my delight, the sky picked up some pink accenting that was worth getting lost in from the hill on PCH leaving Aliso Beach. I snapped a couple of photos before the fading light starved the evening sky of its remaining color. While this Aliso Beach day was invigorating and calming, calling it just another day at Aliso Beach defies the negative connotation the saying has. I don’t think Aliso Beach will ever be just another beach, just another place and just another day. It is truly special.