Upon learning that my family was reverse migrating from Southern California to Oklahoma, I spent many of my remaining California hours standing either on a sandy beach or on the Huntington Beach pier looking over the Pacific.
Looking at and listening to the continual roar of that green-gray water as it rolls onto the sand, one wave pounding right after another inspires awe. Power and mystery roll into one at the edge of the ocean.
I can’t imagine being Columbus and countering the popular belief that the earth was flat. That had to be terrifying to sail out on only faith that the water would go on and on.
Anyway, I think you get the point that the ocean intrigues me. I loved it from the day I first saw it. I loved dancing in the shoreline foam. I loved body surfing, especially diving through those taller than human waves and riding their crest back to shore . I loved simply floating out past where the waves break and letting myself rise and fall on the great swells. Most of all I loved watching the hypnotic motion of the waves. If I never got to swim in the Pacific again, I could be happy if I could watch the waves roll over and over onto the sand.
After we made the great move and I adjusted to a new high school, I learned to look forward to the beautiful sunsets and walks on the open prairie. In time, I discovered that I really loved the open space and the endless horizon we have on the plains. However, I never got done missing the surging waves of the Pacific.
Imagine my surprise several summers into my “plains experience” when I happened to be standing on a hill overlooking a ripened wheat field in mid- June. I saw wave after wave of amber grain rolling across an infinite prairie.
I had my waves again. I even had the roar. Standing on a hill in Kansas on a windy day, you can hear the pounding of an ancient sea. As the wind blasts past, its roar is no less awesome than that of the mighty Pacific.
Since that day, I have learned to anticipate the wheat getting tall enough to blow in continual swells. I enjoy at least a month of rolling waves before the combines do their job. It’s not the Pacific, but it is pretty darn close for one month out of the year. It even makes me look forward to the wind.