Although I live near the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, the ocean draws me back again and again. No matter what is going on in my life, no matter how stressed, sad, upset, frustrated, or whatever I might be, it all falls away with the feeling of wet sand beneath my toes, waves breaking with a sudden rush of water up to my knees, lines of pelicans on the horizon, and the endless cries of gulls.
Some associate the ocean with summer, but I love it in the autumn and winter. There are less people and more birds.
When the shore is veiled in foggy mystery, only shapes of pelicans are visible beyond the gray. Spouts of migrating whales might lie beyond my sightline, far behind the bobbing wait of surfers, yet I never doubt they are out there.