down in Doheny

09/01/2021 0 By BuddyCushman

Yesterday I was able to leave my work shift with the San Marcos kids early because they are off to an eight-day vacation with one of the sets of parents this morning, picked up early to avoid traffic jams where possible. Means I rolled out just before three and cruised back to Encinitas, a stop at Trader Joe’s and then back to my room for some grocery finagling and a change into a bathing suit under my shorts. Then a glide mostly downhill to the Moonlight Beach parking lot for a hopefully big fun time and with necessary greater in-the-moment consciousness out there in the Pacific on my boogie board.

We’ve had a fair amount of rain these last few days, darned unusual for these parts in August, and more cloudy skies as a result, so when I arrived at 4pm there was no one in the water. I could see a few people farther down toward the cliffs on the Oceanside side, but not a single soul out from the main beach. That got me wondering and when I walked down I saw a sign warning about rip tides and swim to the side out of them, so I went to the lifeguard station and asked if there were wicked bad rip tides today and he said no. I asked if that sign’s been there all summer and he said yes – yet another example of being intentional with mindfulness because left to my casual self – it’s easy to miss stuff. I asked had the water temp dropped and he said not really – people just don’t go in the ocean so much when it’s cloudy. I said thanks, and being on a mission I did my clothes-and-shoes thing and went into the water, now with a few others. I managed to catch some good rush-along rides and had more misses. Leaving too early or too late, and as the ocean passes by I believe I hear it laughing. It’s good to be a source of laughter on the planet. I make note I missed that chance and wait for another. In terms of riding waves and white water, there will be another.

This is a new life for me and maybe it was in the water or back on the beach or on one of the top-of-the-bluff benches which have become sacred places for me, anyway, the idea came that I’m becoming something of a beach bum and – wait, it was while I was at the kids house writing some fly-into-my-head thoughts, yeah it was there, the thought came I’m being sent back in time, way back, to when I was a kid in a town by Cape Cod singing Beach Boys songs on the small front lawn and dreaming about California and what a surfing life would be like. But like back then and through much of my life, dreaming didn’t translate into doing. Now, these days – with an assist from a plan not of my choosing — dreaming and doing are walking closer together. Yes, I was at the kids’ table and had a vision of me being something of a beach bum – like that 60’s song said – “We all live for the sun.” – and living a life where I work just enough to barely make the rent, using some savings too, and buy a few groceries, because the important thing is being over there by the ocean, walking, looking, mesmerized, or better yet in the ocean, allowing the great gift of salt water to buoy me up and take me for a ride.

And if I had hair maybe it would bleach lighter, and in fact my skin has that summery look, and I did buy two new bathing suits to go with the one I drove down with from Portland because can’t be putting on a wet one under my shorts. And now I have two towels in the trunk of the Camry and the boogie board there as well, and a plastic bag to keep my keys in which are tucked in one of my running shoes and hopefully left alone on the sand until I get back out and go rinse my feet and my sunny-side self.

All this is just me daydreaming here on the keyboard, seeing how it is now, and it’s likely that in the beach bum live-for-the-sun remembrances all those cats had friends and buddies and pals to hang with and surf with and goof with and I do not have that yet. But you never know. This life feels right now – work enough to stay afloat (ha-ha) and write because that’s what I do, and walk a lot because that’s what I do too, and go to Pannikin and drink coffee and read and scribble because there’s always that, and now become like that Surfer Joe guy from the song, not exactly, this little close-to-the-shore-move-with-the-ocean’s-energy experience smaller. The point is it feels like a time-travel back to an entirely different me at age 15 and traveling down a different path, and I’m not 15 and the big clock tick-tocks quicker now, and the San Marcos kids have gone and I have 12 days without that chance to be a channel of joy and delight and possibility and help pay the rent.

So what will I do with any day I’m lucky enough just to wake up again? You can find out by coming over to the beachside and checking me out. I’ll be there.