Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Of Sunsets, Ships and Seagulls...
Or, time for another Post from the Coast...

Today was what some people would call a real Chamber-of-Commerce Day down here on the Southern Oregon Coast. A brisk breeze was blowing, but No Coat Was Needed...the sun, blazing in all its glory; the cool, thick air swirling all around...people flying kites on the beach...dog-owners with their pets, who absolutely go crazy with all of the freedom the ocean beach implies...and the sheer luxury of solitude, for although people share the beach, it's never crowded and there's plenty of room for everyone. This portion of the South Coast is a place where tourists visit, but it's not really "touristy" at all. None of the raging, rampant commotion that throngs bring to more populated areas. And I just love it. It's a different pace down here. Slower...more casual...where "image" doesn't mean 'squat'...little in the way of pollen in the ever-blowing breeze, which is great for me, since my allergies are AWFUL, and none of the scorching temperatures that make summer almost unbearable in many inland locations. In some ways, I still feel like an outsider, a newbie, a stranger. Sometimes I Still Cannot Believe I Actually Moved All The Way Down Here. But on days like today, wow...I'm glad I came here. It's days like this when I know I Really Need To Be Here.
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But enough of all the verbage...I'll attempt to write the rest of this post in 'vignette' form...and so, I'll present three little, perhaps inconsequential incidents which nonetheless resulted in a very interesting day for me. First of all, as I was walking on the beach, I met a lady who was walking her dog, and talked to her for a bit. It's cool, meeting all the dog-owners (and their dogs), and I'm getting to the place where I know the names of certain pet owners and their dogs. And as we talked about things pertaining to the ocean, she related a little story to me...she was in a nearby seaport town recently, and was watching some fishermen cleaning their catch, throwing fish parts into the water, where seagulls eagerly feasted on the scraps...
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She told me that one seagull that ate so much, that it Literally Could Not Fly. Not at all. The poor bird flapped its wings weakly, but no matter how much it tried, it could not Get Airborne. Finally, the bird regurgitated what it had eaten (or at least most of it) and flew away. I couldn't help but think of myself, overdoing it at an all-you-can-eat restaurant. I know that Seagulls are wild animals, but sometimes even Nature's Instincts can sometimes go wrong as they did for Mr. Seagull, who Got Too Much of a Good Thing...
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On a day like this, I HAVE to go to the ocean. Too many times this year, I've gone out paying bills and running errands around town on what I thought was going to be a cloudy day...a typical day down here can start out cloudy and stay that way all day long, then long about sunset, the clouds can disappear, and voila!, a beautiful sunset presents itself. And most of the time, I end up missing great sunsets on what started out to be a cloudy day. Well, today it was CLOUDLESS ALL DAY (a relative rarity down here), and if I'm gonna go to the beach, driving on $4.35-a-gallon gasoline, I'm gonna get my money's worth, by sticking around for the SUNSET...I've seen quite a few ocean sunsets by now, and I never get tired of them. But long about sunset, as I was sitting in a parking lot overlooking the ocean, what did my eyes see, but one of those old schooner-type Tall Ships heading up the Coast...
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...and there it was, about 3/4 of a mile offshore, moving slowly, silently, toward its destination, and just for an instant, I was teleported back to a century or two ago when seafaring vessels such as this were commonplace. At various times of the year, Tall Ships visit the community, and although the local newspaper lists when they'll be here, I've never made a special trip to go and see one. And so the Tall Ship cruised by, Just For Me. It was one of those "How Cool Is That?" moments.
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Right around this time, I was in a quandry...for, Sunset was approaching as this Tall Ship cruised by, and I honestly didn't know what to pay the most attention to...the Tall Ship, sailing majestically on the ocean, or the prospect of an approaching Sunset...some ocean sunsets are nothing more than ever-deepening blue sky with the luminiscent 'dot' of the sun disappearing under the water...other sunsets illuminate the clouds waaay out there on the horizon, splashing the sky with all sorts of colors like an artist gone mad...tonite's sunset showed the sun passing through bands of clouds, revealing technicolor shades of burning orange and yellow as it strained to keep itself above the horizon before finally giving in to the forces of nature, sinking out of sight as another day ended.
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Obviously, this is not the sunset I just described, but you get the idea. I never cease to be amazed at how drastically the curvature of the earth magnifies the sun as it approaches the horizon. And, the same thing happens with the moon, and if I hadn't known that before, I would've found out tonight...for, as I headed home after watching a gorgeous sunset, I saw the Moon rise above the other horizon...huge and sorta yellowish; fairly bizarre, but definitely majestic. I wonder, in the grand scheme of things, did this convergence of sunset/moonrise mean anything important? I don't know...but I do know that what I saw today was absolutely GORGEOUS. And inspiring. It rains A LOT down here...but days like today more than make up for the gloomy, cloudy days which are such a large part of Coast Life.
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I don't want for much of anything anymore. A day like this, however insignificant it may seem to those reading this, means a lot to me. Fresh air, blue sky, the roar of the ocean...I am positive experiences such as these are among the closest I'll ever get to Heaven On Earth. I wish I could feel like this all of the time. And when I'm at the ocean, I do...

4 Comments:

Blogger MarmiteToasty said...

Oh my goodness, what a beautiful post...... I was almost there with you.......

I think we are spoilt a little here cos we often have the tall ships come into Portsmouth Harbour and as the harbour entrance is just a few 100 metres wide they come in only about 30 or so feet from the shore, its an amazing sight but one now that we take a bit for granted, and having HMS Victory in our dockyard with all its rigging again we dont appreciate it all as much as we should......

Ive never been to an 'all you can eat place' but I did eat to much pizza once and I could hardly move LOL....

I like you LOVE being by the sea, and I truely dont think I could ever live anywhere that was not a spit from the sea...... again I am spoilt here, I can be at Langstone harbour with its 200 year old pub on the waterfront and old mill and mudflats when the tide is out, within about 10 minutes in me car, then wide open sandy beaches within about 25 minutes at Bracklesham Bay, or down the seafront at Southsea/Portsmouth which is just 12 miles away, or the beautiful Bosahm fishing harbour with its beautiful old houses right on the shore within 30 minutes...... the sea, I love to sit by the sea in the evenings..... I hate crowded beaches but love mostly the beach walks in the winter, all wrapped up against the wind.... or evening walks along the beach in the summer when most people have gone home....... I think now me lads are getting older I might get meself a little dog to walk on the beach........

Again....... I loved this post....... and sorry I waffle on and on to much lol

x

2:18 PM  
Blogger Idaho Escapee said...

Ms. Toasty...you can waffle and prattle and twaddle about on my 'blob' all that you want. I like the way you display your emotions. You're welcome here anytime.

When things trouble me (or I have tension; I am hopelessly bi-polar), being at the ocean dissipates all my cares and woes into nothing. It never fails.

The harbor here, Coos Bay, is midway between San Francisco and Seattle, and many different types of huge vessels stop here to pick up lumber or wood chips or other exports. But seeing that Tall Ship, like a ghost from the past, really surprised me.

People bring their dogs to the beach here all the time. I get to meet all the dogs and their owners. And on a sunny day all the colors here are so vivid. Waves smashing into the rocky cliffs here. I first came to this area in 2001, and ever since then I couldn't get it out of my mind. So here I am.

Oh...and there's no such thing as 'too much pizza', right? Make mine Pepperoni!

4:46 PM  
Blogger MarmiteToasty said...

:) I cant do pepperoni or anything with ham or bacon on as Im highly alergic to pork :).... but if I ever get over to your neck of the woods I will shout ya for whatever flavour pizza ya fancy lol

Yeo, ya cant be the sitting by the sea.... love it, just love it..

x

5:39 AM  
Blogger Idaho Escapee said...

Ms. Marmite...gosh, Pork is in just about everything! Even Needless Government Expenses in the States are called "Pork projects". I know! Maybe you could have a pizza with hamburger on it? Or maybe order a cheese pizza with roast beef on it? (That would be weird!)

At a park near here, is a parking lot (carpark to you Brits) which is about 1/4 mile from the ocean, and is 60 or 70 feet above the ocean; the view is tremendous. And I was sitting in my car, listening to a baseball game, with the sun shining on me as the ocean roared. If that's not Heaven on Earth, nothing is...

11:56 PM  

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