Toes in the Water

Yesterday I walked my bare feet into the Pacific Ocean for the first time in my life. It took me 336 days of living in California to do it.


If I’m ever Dictator of the Free World, a plaque memorializing my first encounter with the Pacific Ocean (on 4/24/2020) can be placed here. Granted, it won’t be the same water or sand or sky, but until we can freeze time (in or out of a bottle), this is all we’ve got.

I’m not sure why it took me so long. Because beaches are synonymous with vacation, maybe I thought that if I got in the water, then I’d soon have to leave.


It also feels a little like I’m cheating on Galveston, Grand Isle, and Flora-Bama, the beaches of my childhood, and my children’s vacations. Somehow enjoying California seems like a betrayal of who I am, what I’m made of. (I know this is dichotomous, either-or thinking, and have scheduled some growth mindset exercises for first thing in the morning.)

But, a third thought is that I avoided taking the plunge because the water’s cold and the sand’s gritty. Most people here swim in wetsuits, the exception being the guys who are probably Navy Seals. Who else has washboard abs and jumps right in wearing only board shorts?

This is my 11th month in Monterey, and it’s slowly sinking in that this dreamy California adventure is turning into home.

run away



About Laura Alford, PhD

I'm a recent graduate of LSU (PhD in Accounting). In addition to academic research, I also write fiction on Tuesday nights with the Asilomar Writers.
This entry was posted in California, Children, family, Louisiana, Monterey, weather, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

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