Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Four Days at the Beach

We are here with John’s sister from Colorado and her husband in a rented beach house. In addition our extended family has been dropping in and out. It is a wonderful end to summer and the 3rd time we have spent the autumn equinox and John’s Birthday at the beach. The weather has been in the 80’s; hot, dry and calm. The big rollers crash in not far from our deck and we have a perfect view of the haystack rock in Pacific City. This is our favorite beach, long and sandy and far from any large towns. The rest of the gang are off hiking while I write this so I have the whole house to myself for a few hours. I brought my watercolors, journal and pens so I will probably have a go at drawing the rock or the beach chairs on the deck or something else that will bring back the moment for me.

The most peculiar phenomenon this morning for about 4 hours was a huge butterfly migration on the beach. They were coming from the north and flying into the wind - clouds and clouds of small, cinnabar colored butterflies. I got one good shot for you and I will try to identify them when I get home but they reminded me of a magical moment in Mexico about 10 years ago with my friend Ellen. She was ill then with breast cancer that finally took her life 6 weeks after our trip. But at that time she felt good enough to travel to Puerto Vallarta to sit on the beach and relax with her friend Nancy and myself. The three of us had made a day trip to the white sand beach at Bucerias where Nancy went out for a swim as Ellen and I watched from the beach. Ellen was dressed in a black sundress and sandals and I watched her as she found a perfect spot to sit and sketch in her sketchbook. As she sat quite still on the dark colored rock a cloud of chartreuse butterflies surrounded her and settled on the rock all around her. In my memory now it seems like a magical dream in which Ellen, so young and beautiful, is being consoled by nature. So I have an idea for a painting now that I’ve given it some thought. Of a trusting young woman on the beach surrounded by butterflies and love, the way Ellen was on that day.
Here are some more pictures of my precious family having fun with Cooper and Moose. The pups are old buddies now who play so well together, play-fighting over the same piece of driftwood and rolling in the sand until they look like twin Snickerdoodles. The grandson is incredible; brought a video about a blind samurai that we all loved. A very serious story with a surprising and delightful dance number by the entire cast at the end. I recommend it.

Last night at sunset we all watched intently for the legendary green flare. The sky was a deep cerulean blue, greening into shades of coral and gold as the great orb sank lower and lower on the horizon. Oh, for a sundown at the beach gasping at the miracle of the changing colors and the fading light. With a cool something in one’s hand. Sometimes life is just plain easy.


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post, From reading about your family's holiday together at the beach with dogs and butterflies and then about your friend, Ellen. By the time I got to the stunning photograph of the sunset, I felt so moved, I was quite simply in tears, I am now looking at a screen that has gone all rather fuzzy. I look forward to seeing the forthcoming painting.
Kind regards

Yolanda said...

I drove there just yesterday and I hope to go back soon. Isn't it beautiful there . I love your beautiful paintings and photos.

kelly rae said...

i love that beach, too. it also one of our favorite beaches for surfing and our dog Bella loves the wide open spaces of it.

the story of your friend and the butterflies is so very touching. what a moment that must have been for her.

Willie Baronet said...

Great photos, and I like your Wacom efforts too. :-)