March 25th, 2001
Had a delicious breakfast in Laguna this morning and a short walk on the beach. It was overcast and cool and I didn't find myself wanting to hang out very long. I was feeling kind of tired and kind of blue but the siren song of the Pacific was calling me to the cliffs. So I walked to the bottom of the steps at Cliff Street, unstrapped my sandals and jumped down into the cool, wet sand and went for a walk.
I passed a mother and her two sons a ways down the beach. The older boy was probably 16 and the younger brother about 10 or 11. All three of them were very, very overweight, which seemed to serve the youngest boy well since he was splashing around in the freezing ocean water as if it were the middle of summer. Fat is a great insulator from the cold I guess.
As I passed by them a second time on my way back up the beach, I couldn't help but notice the heavy-hearted look on the older boy's face which spoke silently and sadly to me about his deep unhappiness at being so fat. From the safety of my sunglasses I could see him watching me and imagined what he must be feeling at seeing somebody as thin as I am walk past him with so little effort. As his sadness entered my consciousness, I spoke to him silently and told him it was OK, that there were answers to his problems and that he could make different choices if he wanted to. "There are ways," I assured him.
My words felt like a prayer on his behalf, even though they were spoken silently to him - the prayer and the reassurance blending into each other so seamlessly so as to make one indistinguishable from the other. Maybe our prayers on another's behalf, however they're expressed, really do speed things along. I hope so anyway. No kid should be that sad at sixteen.
I finished the rest of my walk feeling very grateful for this wonderful body of mine, these strong and limber legs that keep me going even when the rest of me is tired and wants to rest. All the way back up the beach and to the car, my steps felt lighter, my movements more graceful and my heart a little happier. I found myself jumping lightly over rocks and waves along the beach and feeling each of the muscles in my legs and in my butt tightening and then relaxing in perfect harmony with each other. I hope someday that the boy I passed on the beach this morning can know how good it feels to move with so little effort and be at peace with his body the way I am with mine today.
For once, my breakfast and walk on the beach were over with well before the stores opened so I headed home, perfectly at one with my resolve to curtail all spending for the time being so I can buy a faster computer. One's computer can never be too new or too fast. It's kind of like that too rich or too thin thing. I just want my computer to be able to keep up with my creativity. Some days there's RAM and processor speed to spare. But that would be when I'm at the beach and not using it.
From the water's edge...