Sunday we took off for a mini family vacation to Cannon Beach, Oregon. The coast is, and always will be, my very favorite vacation. First, it's only a couple hour drive from home. This makes travel affordable and easy (which is important when you have three kids!). Second, you can stay in a room that is literally steps from the ocean. And, third, well...Pacific Northwest beaches.
Sure, we may not always have the advantage of sunshine and warm weather. But there is something beautiful about large, grey skies that fade softly into the dark grey expanse of the ocean. When the rain falls, it patters softly on the sand. As the rain hits my face, while the waves dance wildly on the shore and my feet slink into the cool depths of the sand, I never feel more like part of the earth.
And the earth never feel so big. The dark water appears to go on forever, holding within its belly the life of the ocean, communities of sea life and creatures, their stories invisible, unknown, and alien to me. The sky above me has no end, at least not one that is known to man. All I can see is a whirl of clouds and a backdrop that is opaque and ever-changing. There are other planets and galaxies and empty space out there, but I cannot see any of it.
Then there's the sand below me. It is comprised of infinite grains of weather-worn rock and sediment. There is enough of it to fills miles and miles of beaches. And yet, each grain is so small that, standing alone, it is barely even visible.
All of these qualities together, make for majestic, unbeatable views.
I could spend hours at the beach doing nothing more than running across the wondrous sand and playful waves. The openness is so inviting and freeing. I giggle, despite myself, and throw my hand out to the beauty around me. My favorite interaction with the beach is to walk out into the shallow waves and plant my feet firmly in the ground. The waves tumble past me toward the shore and then slink forcefully back into the ocean, trying to coax me in. As the waves whoosh back and forth over my feet, I lose myself in their dizzying trance. It feels as if I'm gliding....but I'm going nowhere. The water catches on the knuckles of my toes and bubbles over like a series of mini fountains. I'm simply in heaven.