The frantic splash of tiny feet move in a blur through the thin layer of surf, just ahead of a foam-crested two foot wave. A seagull squawks, out of tune, against a blue-gray noonday sky as the children’s laughter hitches a lazy ride on the quiet breeze. I smile in wonder at the two young children in silhouette; the emerald Pacific serving up an endless backdrop to their fantasy world of salt flavored air. The sand is warm beneath the oversized, multi-colored, striped beach towel. Karen leans in, her head on my shoulder and the gentle squeeze of her hand in mine speaking words without a sound.
Twenty-six years seems but a moment in passing. Our children are grown with children of their own. But the memory lingers like the fresh, sweet fragrance of a favorite flower. Karen and I weave a pattern through the sea of happy faces along the Promenade before turning east down Broadway. It is spring break in Seaside Oregon as moms and dads, kids and dogs make memories to last a lifetime.
I have often wondered: Is it the roar of crashing waves or the sun burning orange against the endless liquid horizon at day’s ending, or is it the bite of salt drenched air breathed in? What desire of the human heart connects us so deeply with the ocean? Maybe it is our beginnings—the fluid world in which our journey starts.
Or maybe life’s craziness pushes us hard toward a child’s world of simple wonder, bathed in beauty and mystery; beyond a need to understand.
Maybe it’s all of this and more.
As Dorothy would say: “There’s no place like home.” Seaside is our home; has been for almost ten years now, and a famous line from the movie, “Field of Dreams”, pretty much sums it up for us.
“Is this Heaven?” “No, it’s Iowa.”
Seaside, Oregon may not be heaven, but it’s the closest Karen and I will come—in this life.
So, if it’s a day, a week, or maybe a lifetime, drink in all of Seaside; let it take you to that happy place where memories are made to last forever.
From our house on the hill we watch the sun set over the mighty Pacific as the lights of Seaside grow brighter against the waning colors of an evening sky.