R is for realization. Across from Twin Lakes beach in Santa Cruz, there is a small natural history museum graced with a life size sculpture of a gray whale, installed beneath a grove of native cypress trees. It totally does not meet any safety standards, and has been a beloved part of the community for as long as I can remember. Maddie and I visited today.
Scaling and traversing the whale is a challenge, even for the brave Maddie. For me, the place is awash with memories — I probably have not been there since her mother was young — but for Maddie it is all new and interesting. The museum itself has stayed up to date, which I am glad to see, and we spent an hour enthusiastically exploring the exhibits. The old neighborhood of beach cottages has gentrified, but the museum grounds are the same, a small city block of mature cypress, eucalyptus, oak and bay trees. Small orange flags mark where native annuals and perennials have been planted. A rain-swollen tiny stream was running full to the beach; ferns and mushrooms in abundance. To be in two places in time, in one place, with an agile, active five-year-old pointing out details is to realize a continuum of experience so transcendent and joyful that there’s really nothing more important than deciding where to go for lunch. (Bagelry, Seabright.)
14 thoughts on “R: Realization”
What an absolutely lovely day.
Truly! And it smelled so good, too. Eucalyptus and rain-soaked mounds of wood chip mulch waiting to be spread. We were upwind of the ocean, but you know that salty goodness permeates a place :)
Wow! That’s really cool. She looks like she’s having a blast.
One of the advantages of keeping company with an adventurous child — enthusiasm and wonder are contagious :)
I love the idea of a full sized whale in a groove of trees, and a child enjoying the opportunity to explore such a wondrous creature.
You have such a lovely, poetical way of looking at things, Nancy, it’s a gift to read your posts.
Aw, thank you, C’lady! That place and my companion are very special :)
Thanks, Megan! It was a lovely day :)
Walking on whales
Just a fraction more steady
Than walking on rope
Comments as haiku
Will always carry the day
With a smiling face
The joy of feeling
Triumph over fear
She made the climb once
And then immediately
Ran back to the tail
Gray contrasts with green
Not as gray contrasts with blue
But lit by the sun
Gray makes all colors
Appear more as their true hues
The sun lets us see