I’ve always been amused by the cliché of enjoying long walks on the beach, but there’s something about being so near to the ocean, that undeniable power stretching out past our view, that is quite captivating. I stare at the moving water until I’m caught up in the pull and crash of the waves, the not quite predictable patterns of the little waves that ease in politely and the large ones that rear up and rush in greedily. I love that every time I go near the ocean the feeling is different, as weather and colors, wind and tides shape the mood of the water. So when a trip to a nearby beach was proposed for my free afternoon and birthday celebration with relatives, I was happy to agree.
The water was blue, heavy deep blue like if you scooped some of it up in a bottle you use it to flavor snow cones, and when the waves stood up they were clear enough to reveal their seaweed innards. But despite the show the ocean water was putting on, my attention on this trip was captured by the natural art on my other side, where the sand rose up in yellow clay bluffs.
The clay was soft, and frequently moving as sections eroded or chunks sheared off from the cliffs. As the afternoon sun moved lower, the crevices lit up, shadows forming patterns that reminded me at times of desert canyons, Egyptian monuments, and otherworldly cities. I took picture after picture after picture, trying to capture the bluffs not as they really were, but as I could imagine them to be.