A mellow day, the calm before the fierceness of teaching and talking to come. I walked down to the faculty meeting and then caught a ride back with the wonderful Mary Hershey , who is teaching humor at this conference. I worked for awhile on class materials, making sure everything is in shape for tomorrow, then headed out to the beach.
I love the beach. There are always those little surveys that say a person is either a desert, mountain, or beach person, and I am all three. I dislike doing without any of them. The desert is austere and severe and harsh, but I love the creatures and plants who have adapted to it–lizards and snakes and cactus flat and blooming only once a year. My mountain love is obvious. I met the ocean in the second grade, when my grandmother drove us up from Temecula to …what? I don’t know. Some California beach in the south. There was a wharf and seashells and that incredible depth of water, moving and moving and moving, singing all the while, and I was smitten forever.
Today, I found a stretch of beach that was quiet and unpeopled and let the sun scorch me. (I know, I know, it isn’t good for you. I’m, however, a dark-skinned white woman and the sun does good things for me. This year, thanks to all the hiking, I am the color of pecans and I like it that way. ) I read and dozed and watched children pulling boogie boards and three youths from India swimming along the shallows in the current. When I grew too hot, I headed for the restaurants along the harbor, all blue and white with touches of teach, and ate a hearty lunch of nachos smothered in guacamole and wickedly drank a summer ale, then ambled back to my room and slept for awhile.
Tomorrow, it all begins. I would like to say again that I love mission fig trees. They seem like trees with secrets. Or the entrance to fairy lands.