Beach walks are full of surprises…if you are looking for them. Summer Saturdays are jam-packed with people…families, birthday parties, couples, teenagers, and so many more. Parking is a challenge and a beach walk means dodging paddle ball games, frisbees, sand castle builders, surfers, toddling just-beyond-babies, footballs…
And today’s surprise was all the flowers strewn on the beach. My husband loves to pick up trash as we walk and we noticed the petals immediately. They weren’t trash, but they were quite a contrast to what we usually see on the beach. At first we wondered if there had been a memorial service–not so unusual in the surfing community. But the flowers and petals continued as we walked and walked.
Was it a wedding? There were many different kinds of flowers…purples and whites, yellows and oranges. White roses, red roses, yellow roses… Like a trail of bread crumbs leading to a story not yet told.
I imagined a flower truck overturning and dumping its load into the ocean…a flower festival on a boat offshore where flowers were thrown into the surf as part of a ceremony…a flower field for fish that washes onto the shore when the growing season ends…my imagination took over creating more and more scenarios.
By then my mind was tuned for contrasts and I began to notice others, like the pair of surfers with their boards on their heads…one in a full wetsuit, the other in a bikini.
And the patch of nasturtiums growing along the cliffs instead of the usually bare sandstone.
And then there was the colorful seawall…someone whose property extends all the way to the beach. This stretch always reminds me of that Kevin Costner movie, Waterworld, with the floating buildings made of seaworn wood, metal, and whatever could be salvaged…this seawall has that quality.
And there was more…light and shadow, age and youth, affluence and poverty. The beach is full of contrasts, when you take the time to look and notice.