The Land – part 2
The rising sun shoots blindness at tired eyes, but not yet warmth to a frost chilled Ventura valley. The east wind howls hard offshore at this hour, following the nearly dry Santa Clara riverbed as it limps to the Pacific, but it’s sure to back off as the morning reinvents itself into day. The smell of oranges is strong in the wind. It must be nearing the season of harvest. Nameless, and faceless workers from another troubled land will tend to the harvest, filling untold numbers of glasses with fresh-squeezed liquid sunshine. Tip the glass to the southern horizon and drink deep to prospect of another blissful day.
A distant storm has produced a strong and clean west swell, and being a Wednesday, the crowds will hopefully be busy at work. Most of them migrate south five days a week into the metropolis of Los Angeles. Today will be a day to venture north up the coast and seek the antithesis of all things South. Open country, room to breathe, time to slow down a bit. Here it makes sense to sit on a rock overlooking the ocean for an excessively long time, feeling the sun begin its warming work on my back as I time the sets, and observe the lineup.
The crowd is light as expected, and we enjoy our session in collective isolation. No words are spoken, beyond the occasional nod. We are finding what we were looking for. A new face joins the lineup and aggressively challenges for the choicest waves, apparently claiming ownership of the sea around him. I wish he’d go back to where he came from. He stays, so I leave. I’d had my fill anyway. On the way to the car, I stop and warm up by a smoldering beach fire. A gust of wind blows down the canyon, and I have to turn away to avoid breathing the ashes on this fine Wednesday morning.