Besides NPR and groovy tunes to soothe LA traffic nerves, I always take a reminder of the beach along for the ride. Breathe.
My son graduated fifth grade on Friday and what better place to celebrate, but the beach? A great place to remember how all things change and time's passing can't be stopped. The waves were wild and dolphins were leaping.
We took winding Topanga Canyon Blvd. over the hill. Dropped out of the overheated valley into an foggy afternoon beach side. Spent hours chatting, marveling at how fast the last six years have gone and sampling tasty treats.
Looking forward to summer.
These shells have become part of my large collection that I carry back to Los Angeles from our vacations at Manasquan Beach in New Jersey. I call them "Angel Wings." They are everywhere on the beach but usually overlooked for prettier fan shells or sand dollars. After the sea pummels the shells, these bits and pieces remain. They remind me of a heart and wings. The strongest part of the shell. Not perfect, but perfect. Ya know?
For a long time I pondered what I would do with them. I've placed them at my mom's grave site. Her favorite place was the shore too. And finally I have been inspired to write a picture book with them in mind. It's still in the early stages, but it's about sharing and caring and seeing what's really important.
I grew up a Jersey Girl who spent magical summers at the Jersey shore and dreamed of one day owning my very own beach cottage. But, by love, luck and a sense of adventure I ended up living in Los Angeles. Alas, I did not end up on the sandy shores of LA.
My favorite memory, still, is our family's annual trip down the shore. After a long ride in bumper to bumper traffic on the Garden State Parkway, five kids and two parents were ready to bust out of that station wagon. Our arrival at our summer rental was sounded by tires crunching on a gravel drive. Four squeaky doors swung open. We'd step out, take in a deep breath of salty seashore air and relax. Daydreams of those beach days carried me through long NJ winters.
So, "A Little Beachy" is this to me. It's the first day of summer, it's looking into my dogs eyes or hearing my son's laughter. It's painting the places I'd like to be in and the creatures I'd like to be with. It exists between joyful memories and possibilities.