WRITING 101 CHALLENGE, Day 8:
Death to Adverbs: Go to a public location and make a detailed report of what you see.
Before I detail what I saw, I have to talk about what I felt: the wind. Cooler than I expected, it surprised me and definitely influenced my experience. As someone who lives in a landlocked city, whenever I am away from a beach for an extended period of time, my imagination always pictures the ocean as a calm place with soft, warm breezes and gentle waves hitting the shore. That was not my experience on this trip. The wind was high, the waves were rough and angry, and there was a coolness in the air that chilled the body, but not my soul.
The FIRST thing I saw, as I was driving, off in the distance, was the promise of a great adventure. The thrill of being at the ocean is driving along and seeing ahead an expanse of … nothingness … and yet, knowing all the time that the world has NOT ended, but has just morphed from land to water. The SECOND thing I saw was the mounds of grey sand. Pushed against the shore and sidewalk in great piles of loose and yet compact grains of matter that immediately covered my bare feet and ankles. As I walked closer to the water, the sands shifted and made walking … interesting. Past the sand was the mighty, majestic, magnificent Pacific Ocean. Not quite blue, not quite grey, the color of the water was pewterish. But it was the waves that fascinated me. Seen far off in the distance, they looked calm and undulating, but as they came closer to shore, they got larger and tipped with white foam – until they crashed against the sand with a roar. It was almost like they were angry that their journey across the ocean was ending … here … at my feet. When I looked up from trying to get the “perfect” photo of a wave cresting over my feet (yeah, that took a minute and I still didn’t get the PERFECT picture. Luckily, I have more time before returning home to try and get it right), I could see that EVERYTHING – the families playing on the shoreline, the runners getting in one final run of the day, the bicyclists pedaling on their way to wherever they were going, the sea grasses blowing in response to the winds – EVERYTHING was bathed in the soft golden, orange glow of the setting sun over the western horizon to my right. This experience was the perfect culmination to a day of travel.
But what I really saw was the creative power of God. In a world full of chaos and disorder, standing at the oceanshore reminded that God is still in control. Every day, like clockwork, the sun rises and the sun sets. The tides roll in and the tides roll out. And this happens on a schedule set into place centuries ago when God spoke it into existence, saw it was working, and declared it “good”. And if we take the time, have the inclination, and live close enough – we can experience and witness this whenever we want.