A Sunday

I spent a wonderful afternoon at Patrick’s Point. This morning I was a little iffy on the idea of going out, since there were dark clouds in the sky and a supposed 50 percent chance of rain. It even started to sprinkle a bit here in Arcata. Still, I thought, it would be nice to go. I haven’t spent nearly enough time at the coast lately. So I bought myself a sandwich and headed up there for a picnic and a hike. Whatever calories I may have burned off during the day have now re-entered my body in the form of an iced mocha, but the exercise was great. I didn’t bring my camera because I didn’t want to lug that around in addition to my binoculars. Also I’d like to learn a little more about the art of photography before my next outing. I’ve read about shutter speed and aperture settings several times, but the knowledge never sticks. I know that I could take better photographs if I took some more time to learn and practice. Usually I’m impatient: I point, shoot, and move on.

Anyway, the weather turned out to be intermittently cloudy but mostly beautiful. I was so happy to be out there that I grinned to myself all afternoon, which possibly made me look like a crazy person, but there was hardly anybody around to see. I ran my hands through the cold water of tidepools, wishing I could go swimming. I stuck my index finger into the mouth of a sea anemone, watched a beetle crawl around on my hand, and nearly stepped on a pair of lizards entwined and lying immobile on the trail down to the ocean. I watched a pair of noisy oystercatchers flying low over the waters of the intertidal zone, and followed a soaring hawk with my binoculars. I saw some whales spouting, their backs emerging from the water just for a moment.

I thought about how, when I was a little kid, I used to sit in the backyard among the rocks my dad brought home from the river. I would pretend that I was camping. I pretended that I was somewhere far away from a suburban backyard. It was a longing that I didn’t really understand at that age. Even now I don’t always comprehend the effects that some things have on me.

I can’t believe it’s already another Sunday. I’ve got about a month left of this “normal” life. On May 9 I’ll be off to Hawaii, then Portland. When I get back home I should have an apartment lined up, and it’ll be time to start getting rid of stuff and getting my car nice and clean so I can sell it. It’d be nice to have a little extra money in my pocket for moving expenses. Until then I’m trying to prepare myself as best I can, but I don’t really know how it will all go down.

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