As I write this, I can see the ocean waves covering almost the entire beach, coming right up to the wall where the sand meets the cliff here at Cannon Beach. We had a gift certificate to a hotel here, the Stephanie Inn, that was going to run out by year's end, so we decided to spend a couple wintry days along the ocean.
It's been a bit of a bummer not to be able to walk along the ocean; even when it's not high tide the showers pour down pretty hard. But the theater of the waves is fun. If a tsunami were to happen right now, we'd be so screwed. In the meantime, though, the ceaseless but always subtly changing pattern of the waves is mesmerizing. I love that you can find great drama in the waves, the power of their crashing through, and their almost infinite scale, yet at the same time the monotony of the water hiting the land, both visually and in its white noise, is very soothing to me.
The wind is also quite dramatic. Yesterday we went to a nearby state park, winding on a thin road for miles through the giant fir trees to a vista hundreds of feet above and jutting into the ocean. The wind was so strong that I could jump up and be carried a couple feet. I saw a seagull that was just floating through the air, and the wind actually moved it sideways. Funny, but I don't think I've ever seen a bird moving sideways through the air before.
Now as I look through the screen door, a pitter-patter of rain is obstructing the view. But that's okay too. Maybe it's the art reviewing I've been doing lately, but it just feels like another layer added to the work.
It's astonishing just how frequently the weather changes here. Just since my last paragraph, for example, the rain as actually turned to hail. I've never before seen hail at the ocean. I've only been awake for about an hour and a half, but I've also already seen the sun come out a couple of times, and a previous cycle of rain hit. In fact, as the hail continues to hit our window, I can see patches of blue sky in the distance. Yesterday there was a time in the late afternoon when the sky was spectacularly orange with a winter sunset, and yet to the south the clouds were almost black. The sunset was quickly engulfed, although its fleeting nature seemed to make it all the more special. Now, by the way, the hail has stopped and the sky is brightening. By the time we check out in a few minutes, it'll probably be snowing.