I thought I would think about something positive and heartwarming for a change. I wrote this poem about a place in Santa Barbara that I used to visit every year – hope you enjoy!
We travelled five hours by car every month just to get there. And when we moved, we would travel another for another four Hours and drive another 3 hours just to stay at a house Smaller in size but a great deal larger in heart,
Even if the scenery wasn’t as picturesque as last year’s…
What I’ve learned throughout my sixteen years on earth Is that the identity of a town changes in pursuit of catching up with the times.
Mornings were for baking bread Late mornings were for sandy runs. Dad and I made the five minute walk to the beach to walk along The high tides and aquatic portraits that marked a Past and generation never forgotten.
Hardly anyone ever appreciated such a scenery now.
Walks on the beach turn into drives to the mall. Locally bought fish turn into corporate chain fast food. The weekly flea market fades into office building construction.
It takes a special kind of place to feel the mourning this brings.
The family next door and my family decided to take a walk Longer than usual that day. We threw sticks for the dogs. The dogs barked at the seagulls and the seagulls chased the dogs. It was all so subtly correct. We didn’t know we were among an unfamiliar shore until we saw it.
At first, we thought we were hallucinating a sunken ship. But there it was: a rock so defined, It was almost destined to burn a hole in our minds.
It had to have been there for years if not decades, but how had we never seen it? One tends to forget a place’s roots when other fascinations come into play Downtown. “A ship!” I cried, immediately climbing the rocky steps of the eight foot structure. “Wow, I- ” My father began. “Nature is a powerful force.” My mother filled his unspoken shock.
My neighbor and I climbed the rock, touching every sea anemone we could Find while watching them mistake our touch for sustenance. Nature truly was another dimension.
Sea water crashed into the rock’s foundation and splashed all over our Brand new, retail-bought sundresses. Did we care? How could we? We were somewhere else.
Closing my eyes, I felt the wind as an energy source. I tasted the salty air, believing it Could sustain me forever. I walked along the edges of the geologically composed ship, trusting it to hold me up as I watched the sun set on a malleable society. We had been there an unforgettable twelve hours.
Not a single store downtown could measure up to the joy and freedom I felt that day. Even as corporate greed blinds the city of my innocence, Shipwreck’s cove, as vulnerable as the ocean is to human detriment, maintains the God-given nature it so breathtakingly deserves.
I do feel its presence when I return every year, but what sounds Crazy is that I think it’s waiting for me. Maybe that’s wishful thinking, But at times when wishful thinking is the only safety net we have,
We’ll take what we can get.