The pale light of dawn pricks holes in the forest canopy exposing the earthen trail that winds to the beach. I can hear the waves lapping sleepily onto the rocky shore, the only sound that breaks the peaceful silence. My feet pat the soft ground like the padded feet of a toddler. I can feel every step give just a little on the soft trail, a path followed by many on a sojourn to the shores of this jagged promontory. A sharp, coniferous odor mixed with saltwater permeates the air.
I emerge from the shroud of the great Douglas firs onto an expanse of gray sand peppered with smooth rocks worn by the relentless beating of the sea. Beached trees, long dead and petrified, are strewn like abandoned tinker toys on the edge of the sand. I breathe in the damp morning air inhaling deeply as if I’m appreciating a fine wine. The fog lolls just a stone’s throw off the shore adding some mystique to the beautiful morning that awaits the sun’s arrival. A smattering of small, rocky islands poke up through the blanket of fog like napping dogs disturbed by an interloper. I take a seat on one of the discarded trees at the sand’s edge and watch the morning slowly unfold, an almost ethereal menagerie of sights, smells, and sounds as close to the great beyond as life can get.
The forest wraps around me like a warm blanket and the waves hypnotize me with their melodic song. Seagulls, endlessly searching for food, glide in and out of my view screaming at me as if I have disturbed their morning ritual. I ignore them as the sun’s warm rays slowly rise above the statuesque mountains in the east. Bit by bit, the oranges and pinks brighten as the pale light of dawn scampers away. The first bright arc punches through the horizon warming my face as I wait for the sun to stand up, stretch its arms, and yawn into a new day. A lazy summer day awaits his declaration of light.
A cool breeze runs a lap along the beach joyously celebrating a new beginning. I’m fully relaxed against the beached tree observing the natural beauty that engulfs me. It is this moment, one of uninterrupted peace, that I appreciate the most with Mother Nature and her unfettered elegance beaming at me, a smile so bright that I have to look askew lest the surreal beauty overwhelms me.
The sun is fully awake now standing proudly atop the mountains ready to grace us with a gorgeous day. I bask in the rays for a moment, enjoy the last sounds of the calming waves and errant seagulls before I stand up, stretch, and return to the soft trail leading away from the beach. This moment, the slow unfolding of this day, will forever be burned into my memory.