The Beach is My Church


Day 7: Sunday 29th May 2011. On the seventh day, we have been to church in California. Without moving in my cushioned pew, i can see the sparkling Pacific Ocean, easily visible through both windows on opposite sides of the church. We sing the same songs, with a touch more of an American country folk groove than our usual setting, but just the same words. Members stand to recommend prayers of thanks and supplication, which feels very homely and caring. We are greeted over coffee by lovely people, one of whom feels a need to tell me that the best bands are British. She said it, not me.
Extended shopping follows, with a break for the type of sandwich that leaves you feeling in much the same condition as would a Sunday roast dinner. There appears to be a highly polished custom hydrant on the sidewalk!


The afternoon passes quickly, Mary and Steve taking chairs to the edge of the ocean, with cliffs behind us, the wind behaving like a strong young dog, just let off the leash. We read, draw, write, and talk and as the cold surf runs and pulls at our feet, and we try to watch the waves that throw sunlight in a million directions, with every crashing wave defying examination, too bright to look at. Today, the beach is my church. I don’t know how God feels about it, but for me, we’re closer on the beach.
In the garden with green tea and rice crackers, we determine to remember that picrodaphne is called oleander in English, for when we’re planting at home. Then we have a good cry watching the USA’s memorial day services.

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