Saturday, May 2, 2009

Knowing Where Home is

As the day begins its slow descent into dusk, I step outside to breathe in the scents of a place which feels more like home to me than any other place I have ever lived.  I am beginning to know these beaches by heart.  I can walk along the shoreline, almost knowing when to beware of a sudden rogue wave coming in to soak my feet, just by listening to the pulse of the ocean.  I recognize the enormous rocks that are only exposed to the open air during the two lowest tides of the day.  My breathing becomes one with the rhythm of the waves as they roll in and out reminding me how spiritually connected we are to the earth.  I am learning to live more in terms of how nature tends to cycle through the seasons; how the days grow longer in the springtime, how different birds and sea animals predictably return, knowing precisely from where they came and where they will reside for the next several months.  Like older New Yorkers scurrying down to Florida during the winter months of the year, these animals posses a homing device which will never lead them astray.

For the past couple of weeks, I have watched the slow but steady return of the California Brown Pelicans as they have worked their way back up the coast from Mexico.  These impressive birds can be up to four feet in length with a wingspan of about seven feet.  To observe them as they almost float effortlessly through the sky is such an incredible sight.  They are the only birds which are plunge feeders, meaning that they will spot their prey and then dive, straight down into the ocean from heights of sometimes one hundred feet.
Stepping outside tonight, to take in the final vignettes of the day, I looked down across the coastline to see a cool layer of mist rolling in off  the water.
I watched as the surfers began their daily ritual of taking to the ocean.  From what I have been told, many surfers view the sea as their place of worship.  They have a relationship with the ocean that is much like the ebb and flow of life.  
But mostly, what stopped me in my tracks were the pelicans sleekly soaring overhead.  Fringe-trimmed wings outstretched majestically in a show of strength and beauty.  
Skimming across the spans of the ocean surface, in search of their evening meal they are sleek, confident and determined.  Every now and again, I observe them taking to even greater heights, only to dive, straight down, piercing the glassy surface of the ocean.  An enormous splash breaks through the water and droplets erupt in a spectacular display.  The pelican disappears momentarily and then, resurfaces once again, catch safely ensconced within it's large beak.  The bird floats along on the waves for a while and then takes back to air in a graceful departure.  They are home, and they are as familiar with the seascape here in Southern California as they have been anywhere else throughout their travels.  Considering the fact that they can live up to thirty years, that means a possibility of thirty pilgrimages to different coastlines, different seascapes and even, different countries.  Yet, to me, these awesome birds seem to love it here on the coast of San Clemente, California.  To them, it is home.
As nightfall takes over the skies, I watch as the final Pelican makes its way back to wherever it nests for the evening.  Tomorrow morning as it flies overhead, I will do what I often do when I spot one of these majestic creatures.  I will take in a deep breath of salt-filled air, I will shield my eyes from the sun as I look skyward and then, in kinship with another being who seems to feel as lucky as I do to consider this place its nest, I will welcome it home.

16 comments:

Angel... said...

what a beautiful post...I love your shots..very nicely written!!

Ness said...

Oh dear God, Deb!

What a beautiful post for my broken heart.

I will see your ocean some day~count on it.

Take care and God bless you, Mark and all of your Angels, nieces included.

Irene Latham said...

Dear Deb, it is no surprise to me that you relate to the brown pelican. So happy you are happy with your nest. xxoo

Jacque said...

I have met too many people that just don't see the world around them. You are so refreshing, you wrote about your experience so beautifully. Are you able to watch the whales from where you are? Love to hear about your beaches~Jacque

Bogart in P Towne said...

How I miss my SoCal home...

Jeannie said...

this really resonates with me.

i wrote something similar, in a way, over on my blog, late last night.

we must be kindred spirits in some way, i think.

Mickey Johnson said...

...loved this post. it so resonates with my spirit. i feel a special kinship with the ocean, a worship experience really and i loved this. thank you for stopping by my blog and dropping a line! i appreciate the sweet compliment about our jewelry too! xo, mickey

Maria-Thérèse said...

It must be amazing to live by that ocean!!!

I got your package - thank you so much!!! ♥♥♥ Will blog about it later!

Something Happened Somewhere Turning said...

Debra, nice post. I just love your pictures.
I hope you are doing well.

xx

Cheryl said...

Hi Debra,
Oh my friend you have such a beautiful way with words; your heart-thoughts flows so eloquently. The way you describe the waves, the sounds, the scenes, the birds...it takes me back to last summer and my trip to Venice Beach. Yes..the waves seem to set my body's rhythm in a therpeutic was that only Mother Nature can accomplish.

I am so glad to find my way back to your blog, to your spirit...and your family of Angel Daughers (and hubby). Your stories a savory and sweet food for the soul. I do hope and trust that this greeting finds you well and feeling good.
Well dear-heart...keep enjoying this amazing life. It's always a blessing to witness it through your eyes and writings.

in gratitude...and grace,
love, ~Cheryl

Kathleen Botsford said...

I can hear the waves!

Maria-Thérèse said...

blogged ya!

♥ maria-thérèse www.afiori.com

rivergardenstudio said...

Pelican's are so beautiful, and your words describe them with all the grace and awe they deserve... We have white pelicans here and they are so amazing to behold. Lovely post, Debbie... Roxanne

Debbie said...

Pelicans are such fascinating birds. I always love a chance to glimpse one.

Snap said...

Beautiful post. I love pelicans, but the browns are my favorite. So serene in their *aloneness*.

Thanks for visiting from Maria-Therese!

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

xoxo

i love how you find beauty around you and share it with us!

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