The view from Chinaman's Hat, near Punalu`u, HI
Hard to imagine more perfect water than Hawaii. Crystalline blue and turquoise, the reefs shadowing the depths as sea turtles rise and fall, the bashful bowl of them quietly breaking the surface. A hard swallow returning to the gray ocean of Oregon, so bitterly cold that stepping in ankle deep means a clatter of jaw, a clutch of spirit. My first days back were filled with resentment. In fact, I was back for two days before I even wandered down the forest trail to the water's edge because I was MAD. At the sea.
So why THIS stretch of ocean for me? Why not something easier, where I could say...swim in something less than a full body wet suit or walk around in a tank top in the middle of July. Why have I chosen such a brutal, beautiful place?
When faced with dark, itchy questions, I turn to my Zen Master. Because who knows more about remaining in the present and refusing to succumb to either nostaligia or longing (unless it's a t-bone steak) than a dog. Mia Mia, tell me grasshopper, why always three sweaters even in summer?
She stares at my question with an animal wildness that will never quite leave her, a look that says, "you are human, therefore boring. stop worrying and throw the damn ball." In Mia's world, we are given what we need when we need it and not before. It's the Nature of things.
For example, take her hairball self. She showed up in my world when the death of my brother flattened me, when getting out of bed and washing my hair seemed like too much responsibility. Yet, here was this puppy, making demands. I had to rise to feed her, walk her, mop the pee from the living room floor, and shove her out the door when she began her dramatic full-body puking.
So using that particular mathematical equation, I do not NEED a warm, sunny shore, I need a chilly, gray, smells-like-dead-fish sand smear. With sharp rocks. And collapsing bluffs. A tide so ripping that the geography of the beach changes overnight, from flat and easy to dune covered, from clean and uncluttered to exposed sea shelf littered with bull whip weed and crab carcasses.
Nothing stays the same. Always there is shift and morphing, giving up and clinging, and the relentless crash of water carving and swirling with the belief that I am not done yet, figuring it out, becoming myself.