On Friday morning I went out searching for signs of Spring. I thought I would start with my usual walk on the beach to see what Spring-like creatures and objects I could find there. When I got to the parking lot, it was barricaded by two trucks and a kindly Park Ranger. I pulled my car up to the Ranger.
Is the beach closed? I asked. My intial thought was they were just going to repave the parking lot.
Yes, ma’am. No beach access today, said Mr. Ranger.
Because of the tsunami warning ma’am.
The whaaaaaaat???? Oh god why is there a tsunami warning? What happened? I said rather loudly .
(Please note: I have recently been having many, many (too many) dreams about tsunamis; giant, arcing waves of total destruction. So this news made my heart race.)
Massive earthquake in Japan, ma’am. Tsunami already hit there and one could be making its way across the Pacific toward us.
Wow. I guess I’m a little out of touch, I said.
Yes, ma’am. Have a nice day. And he moved on to the next car that had pulled up behind me.
I drove away to find a parking spot on a side street and called my sister to make sure the adjacent bluffs were high enough to be tsunami proof. She said they were (she’s a geologist, so her opinion worked for me). My heart was pounding as I made my way up to the bluffs overlooking the beach and the expansive Pacific. The Channel Islands were obscured in a fine mist creating the illusion that the ocean went on forever. All the way to Japan.
I didn’t see a tsunami coming. All of the other regular beach walkers were there on the cliff side as well and they didn’t look worried, so I relaxed, UNTIL the military helicopter came throbbing and pounding up the coastline, flying low. Looking for people or the tsunami? I’m not sure. But that recognizable thundering of the helicopter’s engine, for me, is synonymous with something bad happening, something big and tragic. I’ll bet the people in Northern Japan will be hearing a lot of that same noise in the days to come.
After saying a brief, silent prayer for the people in Japan (I had yet to see the pictures of mass devastation on the news) I began my search for signs of Spring. I looked down and there they were. I was stepping on the signs of new growth, color, and life as I peered over the cliff toward Japan. The signs were literally right under my feet.
Another military helicopter came pounding across the sky as I turned to make my way home and turn on the news.