Monday, September 7, 2009
like my father
Twenty years ago that statement would have gotten you an eye roll + an exasperated teen agery type sigh...today I just smile & nod knowingly. It's not just that we look a alike (A LOT alike), but it's our sensibilities and childlike wonder for the world that reminds me genetics is much more than appearances.
This past week I spent a few days in Carmel Valley with my father/stepmother and their two GIANT dogs. When on the 2nd day I was asked, what would you like to do...I think you might have actually been able to hear the ocean if you put your head close to mine.
So on a picture perfect blue sky day ... the McArthur's headed to the strip of blue and sand.
I will save the juicy bits of that trip for another time...but today I want to pay homage to my father and my father's father. My Grandpa was a great man. Larger than life in so many ways. I knew him well, but not well enough. When I shared how much our day at the ocean meant to me, my father sent me this email. (he will likely be dismayed I have shared, but...)
From one child of the sea to another your words were most wonderful; your writing is absolutely amazing. I'm so glad I we had that day at the beach together. Watching you frolic in the waves was like watching you reborn, your joy was like watching a new sea creature come to life, innately knowing an environment unknown to most.
Being a sea lover as well I spent yesterday at Asilomar out in the waves. When I read your letter I thought how, growing up in the LA suburban inland empire, my brother and I would live for the summer weekends when my dad would drive the forty miles to the beach.
We watched intently out the front windshield until the blue line of the sea would appear vaguely in front of us. We would stare at that blue band as if to draw it to ourselves by mind power.
Those moments were the dearest memories of my childhood. When I was five or six my dad would throw us into the waves to 'teach' us to body-surf. I would stay in that water until, blue and chattering, we would emerge and say "I'm not cold. Can we stay just a little longer?"
We moved to P.G. to be near the ocean. After forty some years I'm still here. When the wind is right I can still smell the brine in the air. I always carry a surfboard and wetsuit in my van. I still feel those feelings I had as a fearless five year old when my toes are drawn into the chaos of the tides. It makes me so happy to know that you share those feelings.
I wish you could have seen your grandfather at the beach. We all share those feelings - we three generations of sea creatures. I wish he could have been there too.
yes, I am 'like my father' and my father's father too...no higher compliment could be made. And yes, I wish he could have been there too.
Love you Grandpa.