Today I got off work at an unusually early 6 PM. I checked Sigalert, surprised to see there was no traffic whatsoever on the way home. I bought an Al Merrick Flyer surfboard this past weekend as a replacement for my magic board that I snapped a while back, and couldn't wait to try it. As I drove home, I soaked in the beautiful, soft sunlight breaking through tattered, popcorn-like high altitude clouds. I threw on my spring-suit (shorty) as soon as I got home, waxed up my new board, and sprinted over to Tourmaline beach. Casting my flip flops aside on the cool sand, I was spellbound by the sheer beauty of the evening. The patchy small and flat clouds covered the whole sky, dividing up the setting sun into a kaleidoscope of red, fiery rays that mixed and reflected in the ocean. It was as if the air itself was aglow, the clouds reflecting the sunlit ocean and vice versa. Then, as I eagerly entered the water and began paddling, it hit me...FALL. It's here. The summer is over. The water, so warm and inviting just two weekends ago when Heather and I were at Scripps, now cool and numbing. The harsh glare of the midsummer sun replaced by a softer, paler light. The fiery red sunset igniting the horizon, something I vividly remember as a signature omen of autumn in Lithuania. And while I was left with a momentary feeling of melancholy over the summer that fleeted by almost unnoticed, my thoughts quickly turned to excitement for the future.
Soon enough the north Pacific storm machine will turn on and begin churning up storm after storm and hurling it in our direction. Surf forecasters predict this may be an El Nino year, meaning more frequent and intense storms, in turn creating more swell. Gone will be the summer doldrums with week upon week of knee high surf. (I really need to thin out my quiver of boards, which is sitting at a whopping five right now.)
The season of baseball being the only sport to watch on TV will be a distant, agonizing memory, as USC football, poised to make a run for the national championship, will fill my Saturdays with joy, excitement and anxiety and leave Heather trying to calm and temper my emotional rollercoaster.
I'll be looking forward to the cooler weather, a trip to Seattle to watch USC play UW, and, even more so, a two week trip to Peru with Heather, which we're hoping to start planning soon.
With that said, I leave you with some pictures from summer's last weekend (Labor Day) in Newport Beach: