The rocky shores of Monterey July 27, 2012Posted by #4 in Everything but the kitchen sink.
Tags: beach, California, God, Jacques Cousteau, Monterey, Monterey Bay, Pacific Ocean, sea, sea shells
I was twenty two years old before I saw the ocean with my own eyes. It was in Ixtapa, Mexico and the ocean captivated my attention; I spent every waking moment playing in the waves. I have since tried my best to insure that my kids did not suffer the same fate and they have all been regular visitors of the Pacific Ocean, from Hawaii to the rocky California coast. Our family moved to California 19 years ago and one of the first things we did was take two weeks vacation and drive down Highway 1 from San Francisco to San Diego; we have loved California ever since, but the ocean is where I long to be.
I don’t mean that I want to live on the ocean or even to sail on the ocean, I am content to just sit and stare at the ocean, watching the waves curl up on the shore; the gulls plucking crabs out of the water. My children and I love to walk the beach looking for shells and rocks to take back home with us. We love climbing the rocks along the shore and staring into the many tide pools that collect there. and we love whale watching.
We love sitting on the beach watching the wet-suited kids swim laps from the shore to buoy’s and back for lifeguard training. We love watching the otters play in the kelp and the harbor seals lounging on rocks and the myriad birds flying and swimming to and fro. But our favorite activity is walking the beaches and climbing the rocks looking for shells and pretty pebbles. We can spend an entire day just doing this.
The weather in Monterey is typically 30 to 40 degrees cooler than the Sacramento valley where we live and there is usually fog and clouds hanging around, but every once in awhile the clouds and fog blow away and gorgeous sunshine emerges to rule the day.
Regardless of the weather we simply love this place – even with all the other tourists clogging the walkways and roads and stores, which, on the weekends, is the norm. Rain or shine, wind or fog, cold or warm I could never get tired of Monterey and it’s rocky shores. If I had the money I would find some way to live there. The thought of being able to walk the beaches ever morning and sit with a hot cup of coffee while the waves roll in would be a dream life.
I’ve lived many places: the flat farm land of Oklahoma, the rugged mountains of Colorado, the corn fields of Iowa and Illinois, the river dominated flood plains of Missouri and the central valley of California. Out of all those I have fonder memories of Colorado; it’s rugged peaks, fantastic ski slopes and awesome vistas. But as much as I loved the mountains I would rather live by the ocean. Being landlocked with no beaches close by no longer appeals to me. In fact, one of the most distressing passages in the Bible for me is Revelation 21: 1 “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.”
I find it hard to imagine that God would not include the ocean in heaven which will be on the new earth. I know that God promises that heaven will be beyond our ability to comprehend at this point; we simply cannot imagine something far greater and perfect compared to our earth and all we know – but no more oceans? I can understand how ages ago the sea was a mystery and it’s depths unknown but thanks to Jacques Cousteau and his aqua-lung that he pioneered during WWII the ocean was revealed to be a wondrous place of life and beauty. So in my mind, our infinite Creator and His unmatched imagination that gave us the ocean and it’s creatures, surely would not want to simply do away with them as if there were no room for them on the new earth. I want the ocean to be a part of heaven.
But God has greater plans than my poor wants and wishes and I am confident that I will be completely happy with Him in eternity, with oceans or not. But for now I must content myself with dreams of waves and breezes and hidden treasures along the shore.
Amazingly I know people who have lived their entire life here in California and have never visited the ocean. To me this is incomprehensible. It is only a few hours away. How could you not want to see it? It is truly a poorer life that never saw the sea.
Monterey: even the name appeals to me. It floods my mind with images and sounds and smells of the sea and all its wonders. I recommend this place to you. There is no better (at least in my experience) place to walk and relax and play in the mighty Pacific, than that little point of land at the southern tip of Monterey Bay; where sea gulls cry and seals lounge under a golden sun and the cold ocean water pulls at your feet, urging you on to the next tide-pool.