Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Beaches

I love being on the beach, especially foggy beaches when the sun is doing its best to burn its way through. They are places of cultural meaning—peril and pleasure, solitude and companionship, romance and heartbreak and, above all, mystery—and function as transitional spaces—between the wilds of the sea and the safety of the land—in which the "permanence" of civilization is eroded by the permanent "impermanence" of the ocean. 


None of this was on my mind as I headed out to run this morning but, as with so much in my life, what I am experiencing in the moment takes on greater meaning in the performance. Is this a function of getting old or simply of slowing down to enjoy (being a "Human Being" rather than simply a "Human Doing"). 


After a wonderful night's sleep, it is truly quiet here (no cars, random car alarms, cats playing or dogs barking to disturb), I got kitted up and headed out to the beach, a few steps from the deck. It was foggy with a good quarter-mile of visibility and the tide was so far out that there was plenty of running room. What few people there were looked tiny in the distance. 


I started running down coast towards a headland we explored last night, followed the contours of the rocks and had some fun going in and out of sea caves, and picked up a rather large, mostly intact, Sand Dollar to give to M. Ran back around and dropped the dollar off and then headed up coast towards the rather upscale Wickaninnish Inn. As I went I noticed so many different people and dog tracks, some drawings in the sand, a large snail and a sea kayaker, and a kelp sculpture (a piece of driftwood served as a central post with long pieces of kelp strung out from the center in a wheel pattern. This installation is hard to describe and I'll try to get a picture, of course IF it is still there after the tide comes in.  As I ran past all this I realized that the tide would erase all this evidence leaving a fresh canvas upon which all the dogs, the people, sand artists, and the sea can write anew. 


And how did the run itself go? Well.


For the first time in a couple of months I actually felt like I had some pep and could accelerate if I wanted to and the hip and knee all felt pretty good. I managed 3.32 mile or so and even though my HR is still up there I did not feel at all like I was struggling. Pace? Overall 10:06 but with some significant time feeling like I was running faster. The road back is going to be long and slow but I am glad to have started it on the beach. :-)




I met Jeremy, another guest visiting from London, who wanted to know if he could borrow one of our Powerbook power cords. We had a nice chat while I was stretching and I introduced him round to the denizens of The Ocean Breeze. He and his significant other are thinking of emigrating to Canada and are trying to figure out where, Victoria perhaps. Hmm, what an idea . . .

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