Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Lovin' that ocean! (My way ... )

We just spent a week at the ocean -- trading the great landscape of The Rockies for another: The Pacific
And it was particularly great because this was a week of camping on the ocean's edge -- meaning, good friends in the out-of-doors, in the thick sea-level salt air, with the surf right there, like a pulsing, breathing presence -- albeit a hundred feet or so down at the bottom of a cliff -- for 24 hours a day for our whole break.

It was like a big river trip ... or, more like a five-day layover day on a river trip.

We were there with a big group of other Durangatangs looking to get out of the valley for a while -- to launch spring with a tribal foray, to find some non-winter (not that winter ever really came by for long this year), and to get out and play in the water. Because the majority of our ski-bummed crowd are also surfers, even if of a mountain sort.

I, however, am not among that particular subset of our little traveling subculture.

See, it's not that the ocean is not an unfamiliar place to me -- my father was a seaman, serving in the Navy, and after that he took us on many trips coastal camping and deep-sea fishing. So I grew up along the seacoast, albeit an Atlantic coast.

But ... for whatever reason, the roll of the genetic dice did not pass on the call of the sea to me. Even though I do consider myself "a water guy," I just don't hear that particular salty song. Give me water, yes, but certain, specific manifestations: What I hear singing my tune are Northcountry lakes and Southwestern rivers ...

But ... There are lots of ways to love a landscape. Everyone, I believe, has their own personal landscapes -- their earthworks, and their peopleworks -- that it is their duty to investigate, appreciate, and advocate for. And those places may not be where you "'are from." What's more important is where you are for.

And with each of those many varied landscapes for each of us, I also believe there are for each of us many varied ways we are called to GO! on and across those landscapes. And it is also our jobs to use our dharmic ways of GO!ing to better our connection and communion with those places.

Some of us, in fact, build our lives around GO!ing on our chosen landscapes.

Still ... I loved that great sexy ocean landscape while I was there. When it comes to the ocean, though, I am drawn to its wet, curvy, carved coastline (and from there, invariably, to the the inlets, the marshes, the estuaries ... ever drawn toward inland promises, where my heart lies ...) more than the pounding of the surf.

So while the surfers surfed and the boogie boarders boogied and the SUPers supped, I communed and connected with this landscape my way. I walked, and wandered, and gawked for hours up and down the shoreline ...

And that made for a great week of exploring at the ocean last week. (Yes, along with some hardcore loafing.) Even for a landlubber like me.

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