Eureka – Finding California

The Sea – part 1

Life Support.

Follow any river long enough and chances are, you’ll find the sea.  Beginning miles upstream where the rabbit trails run free and humanity runs scarce, the ridges and valleys funnel the rainfall into these grand meandering waterways.  But the mountains do more than simply shape and direct the flow of water, they sacrificially give themselves to it. Every year, every rainfall, a little more mountain blood is shed into the rivers, only to be given to the lowlands below. As they near the sea, and sometimes long before it, these mighty river valleys open up into broad alluvial flood plains, miles of fertile soil, rich in minerals from the blood of the mountains above.

Down on these plains is where the humans dwell, planting orchards, growing crops, herding livestock, building homes, making babies, and living short, often tragic lives. At the mouth of the rivers, by the edge of the sea, conditions are ideal for human settlement. It’s always been this way.  There is everything here.  Fresh water from the river for drinking and irrigation.  Food can be grown from the ground, raised on the fields, hunted in the hills, caught in the river, or caught in the deep blue sea.  The rivers that make life possible on land do the same in the ocean, their nutrient rich waters mixing at the mouth and supporting an abundance of life above and below the surface.

The rivers don’t stop giving there either.  From their mouths, the finest waves are spoken to surfers who have ears to hear.  Their sandbars and cobblestone points produce an ocean poetry unlike any other.  Beauty and danger mingle here as do bliss and fear in the heart of those surfers who answer the call. On cold mornings when the icy wind blows hard down the river valley and out to sea, they paddle through schools of fish, shadowed by the wings of birds ,surrounded by sea lions, always alert to the one who feeds on all of them.

Scroll Up