Ocean Beach & The Great Highway

I love Ocean Beach in San Francisco. Since I’ve started working my new job starting last month, I’ve come here at least once a week, typically on a Friday turning the commute home instead into a road trip. It’s all about shifting your paradigm. What could be a long and miserable commute is now instead a short and wonderful road trip, filled with great tunes and stops along the way, in many cases a drive up The Great Highway and a stop at Ocean Beach.

And like every other time I’ve been here towards the end of the day, the sun is about to set. This time, though, I’ve arrived early; the sun won’t be setting for at least another three plus hours. The seagulls and the crows play with each other, unless of course someone decides to throw down some scraps, after which a horde of them congregate and scrap, the strongest ones easily winning. Pigeons pick up what morsels are left over.

Kite surfing is in abundance this evening, and the beach goers are appropriately dressed for the brisk weather. And of course there’s the sound of the crashing waves, music in its own right, the sun a beautiful glow upon them while the wind cries Mary. Jimi would be proud.

I’m not the only one staring out into the sea.

I sincerely hope none of them are thinking what I am thinking now. I am thinking of tragedy… Of death… Of disease… Of a young beautiful life cut short… I am thinking of a little boy named Lane, only eight years old, taken away from this world yesterday, leaving behind a family who mourns him. I am thinking of his father Jim, a childhood friend of mine. I never met Lane. I wish that I would have. They lived in the same town outside Indianapolis that my parents currently live.

I watched Interstellar last night. It was a beautiful movie in so many ways, the story of finding another planet to continue the human race, a story based upon the theory of relativity and its effect on time, and at the center of it all, the story of one man and his daughter and their love for each other. I love all of Christopher Nolan’s movies, especially The Dark Knight trilogy. Spoiler alert, though it won’t ruin the movie if you have not watched it, there’s a scene at the end where one character says to the other “No parent should have to watch their own child die.” I thought of my friend Jim and his son Lane. I thought of my friend Miriam and her son Holden. Both losing their child to cancer. I thought of my friend Tanya who’s sister just passed away to cancer. I have not seen any of them in years; and yet the bonds of friendships made in high school still hold dear. Sadly, they are in pain. Their families and their friends’ hearts go out to them, as does mine. My tears freely flowed.

And now I sit here alone on a bench at the beach watching the seagulls and crows fly. And a thought fills my mind and envelops my heart. Lane and Holden and Beth are now flying with the Angels, forever at the sides of the people they loved, invisible but present, protecting them, watching over them, now angels themselves.

Go Adventure. Go Travel. Go Live.

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