Ocean Waves Video at the end!
I recently discovered a new set of stairs to the beach. It’s been two years and 8 months since the Malibu fires swept through the area, and these new stairs are part of the reconstruction of an area I can walk to from my house, known as Leo Carrillo State Beach.
Straight on from the stairs is this view. I am as familiar with this area as I am with the back of my hand, and am forever amazed at the constant yet ever-evolving tide that changes the beach landscape from one day to the next.
Walking left are these massive boulders. According to the strength of the tide, there is always drama happening, and I wait for the waves to crash against the boulders as if I were waiting for fireworks to light up the sky. At certain angles, the waves collide with these timeless boulders. They erupt in a misty-white plume that paints the blue sky, and I think of time and tide and it’s ceaselessness, and the fact that the ocean’s anchoring constancy is something I can always count on.
A closer view
And closer still. At this spot, I take my shoes off and wade knee-deep in the water until my heartbeat aligns with the tide’s rhythm.
This photograph was taken from the top of the stairs not far from the lifeguard station to a cove on the south side of Leo Carrillo State Beach. The cove is a perfect arc, and during low tide, you can walk along the coastline to the stretch of beach on the other side of the lifeguard stand.
A view of the cove from the sand.
A cove view from the life guard stand above. The yellow flowers you see here are coreopsis, which look like bouquets of daisies.
The view at the end of the path that looks South: because my camera lens faced into the sun, this photograph darkened
This is the view of the Santa Monica Mountain foothills on the other side of the Pacific Coast Highway– across from Leo Carrillo State Beach. I wanted you to have an understanding of that which can be seen as you drive through Malibu along the Pacific Coast Highway. These photographs were taken in Western Malibu, and it is a quiet, rural area I feel as if I have all to myself, save for the height of summer when people come to the beach. This area is not as popular among tourists as other parts of Malibu ( such as the infamous Zuma Beach) because it is far out, almost at the Ventura County line. As part of the California coastline, the area is specific, peculiar in nature, and part and parcel to the place I call home.
And here is a video taken of the tide at Leo Carrillo State Beach in Malibu!
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I’m on a walking path that trails along the cliffs of Leo Carrillo State Beach in Malibu, California. It’s 67 degrees at 8:30 AM, and all is quiet. It seems I’m the only one who has thought to get out this early, and I like it. I have the area to myself, and although I have Groove Music and earphones, I have forfeited that in favor of listening to the rhythm of the waves. There’s something timeless about this area, something constant and steady, and looking to the great beyond, I see the curvature of the earth from America’s last edge before Hawaii.
I am always torn between wanting to stay in the moment to keep it for myself, and capturing it with my camera. I’ve lived in this area for twenty years, yet I’m endlessly awestruck by the uniqueness of each wave. They are ceaseless and arrive with their individual story; each wave a life-force with its own beginning, middle, and end that completes its destination then draws back intuitively to make space for another. The waves draw back to their source to become one with their origin; each wave is itself, yet it’s part of the ocean and I stand and think of unity and wonder where rebirth begins.
I wish this photograph gave an accurate scale of the expanse. Before me and behind me is much the same as you see here. Around the cliff at the right is a long stretch of sand similar to all others in this part of the California coastline. The tide determines how far I can walk; there have been times when I could walk for hours, and times when the tide was too high to walk around the bend.
This photograph is taken from an elevated view along the trail’s decline that ends at the beach. The rock you see at the left is the favorite perch of sea birds that cluster together, spreading their wings in impressive numbers, no matter the time of day. It is their resting point, their sanctuary, and they occupy this rock in harmony. It’s an interesting observation: I’ve seen seabirds on this rock innumerable times, and the thing that strikes me is I’ve never seen them less than accommodating for each other.
A closer view of that rock. If you look closely, you can see the seabirds.
I often take my camera, aim the lens and wait for the perfect moment, which I think is the time immediately before the wave folds and stretches for the sand. I don’t always capture it, but this next photograph comes close:
This photograph is telling of how one wave can break with multiple timing. Always, my aspiration is to find the middle of the dance.
I like this endless view because it gives me proper perspective… on a lot of things, actually, all having to do with time and tide and my place in eternity.
California is currently experiencing the “Stay-at-Home” order. We’ve been in and out of this state of affairs for months, and to tell you it’s disorienting is my idea of a full confession. Life feels constricted, pared down its least common denominator and being as it is that I’m on the downswing of the 90 day mark since my 4th novel (Little Tea) released, I’m in between projects. Kind of. I’m still promoting Little Tea, but not with the fervor I had seven months ago. I have the first draft of another book completed, but perhaps it’s the second. Quite possibly it’s the third. It’s hard to say, I tend to revise as I move forward. The draft is finished, but at the moment, I’m not motivated to rush through the project. I’d rather wait until the world rights itself– whatever that will look like– and see how the pause inflicted on the world will influence how we move forward. Word on the street is things will change. Business as we know it may alter. There will be a “new normal” and how this pertains to my little universe leaves me deeply concerned about the new normal of the publishing business. I’m biding my time, and thinking about a line I wrote in my 3rd novel, Mourning Dove, when Finley looks at his sister, Millie, and says, “Mastering the ambiguities of life is the hardest task any of us will ever be called to do.” I believe this is true in my bone marrow.
One thing that occurred to me at the start of the pandemic is the necessity of a daily schedule. I’m well aware that I live in a desirable location by anyone’s standards– no extreme weather, I’m in somewhat of a rural area, and before me as far as the eye can see, the Pacific Ocean stretches forever. So, I’ve been out walking every morning. Setting my feet to the sand sets my mind aright and my world in order. Suffice it to say, I don’t take where I live for granted, and many has been the time when I’ve wished I could share the view. It now dawns on me that I can. I’ll begin with my walk this morning.
I walked along Malibu’s Westward Beach as I made my way to the Point Dume Headlands. You have to walk along the sand until you reach the beginning of the trail that winds up to the Point Dume area.
To the right of the trail’s beginning is this:
I walked up about thirty yards until I came to this:
There were few people around at 8:00 this morning as I made my way through the headlands to the ocean view on the north side of The Point:
To the left of this observation deck is this:
Which leads to this:
Which leads to this view:
Point Dume is essentially a neighborhood in a breathtaking location. There are no parking lots for tourists; all in all, it’s a quiet, cliffside retreat. On the other side of The Point that you see in the above photograph is Paradise Cove and its pier. There’s a popular restaurant named Paradise Cove right on the beach, and it can be accessed from its driveway off the Pacific Coast Highway.
Since the houses on Point Dume are situated on the cliffs above Westward Beach, there are a few stairs that lead from the neighborhood to the sand.
I find the cliffs beautiful in their natural splendor, telling of the terrain. Here is what the cliffside looks like between Point Dume and the sand.
I finished my hour and a half walk through the Point Dume Headlands this morning by watching the waves. It was a grey, overcast, foggy morning, but truth be told, that weather suits me. I prefer to greet the day before the California sun is full on.
There are other Malibu beaches I go to in the morning, so I’ll save more photographs for another post.
I’m sharing my YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6QbvYwbKM71znGk5zZBb-Q
Because I’ve made videos while walking Malibu’s beaches.
I’d love to hear where readers of this post live! I’m interested in hearing how anyone structures their day, as we wait for whatever will be our new normal!