On Monday, July 5th I had a day off from work and decided to visit my old friend the Pacific Ocean. I don’t live that far away and can actually see the ocean from my backyard when the air is clear. So, we were due for a date. I made 4 stops on my journey and each stop holds a special memory for me (mostly involving my wife). This is part one of a four part series about each stop I made and what it means to me. Enjoy!
It was not a typical Southern California summer day. In fact it was quite the opposite: cool, cloudy, and misty. I stopped at a small stretch of beach that held a specific memory for me dating back to my days with the African Children’s Choir. In 2003 I was working with a choir that was composed of children from Uganda and Kenya and we happened to be singing at a couple of churches in the Ventura/Oxnard/Camarillo area. One Saturday morning (on a day off) the host family that some boys and I were staying with offered to take us to the beach. The boys loved swimming and any excuse to go to the beach was a good one so we happily accepted. It was to this very stretch of beach I was standing on this cool, cloudy July day that we were brought to 7 years earlier although that day was much sunnier and warmer.
I don’t remember much about our time at the beach except this: Kepha (one of the older Kenyan boys) and I walked along the beach down to a point where an outcropping of rocks jut out into the ocean. There were “No going beyond this point” signs so we stopped and just stood there watching the waves crashing against the rocks. Neither of us said anything, there was no need for words. Plumes of water would spray high into the air as the waves relentlessly pounded the rocks. After a few minutes we both turned and walked back up the beach to where the host family had set out towels and blankets.
It’s funny the things that a mind remembers. I remember the beach, Kepha, and that moment. I don’t remember the host family or even what other boy from the choir was with us. Those were good times, special times, and I was taken back this July 5th to a single moment in time that will forever be etched in my memory.