Playing in the Breakers

by Ginger on June 28, 2011

in Day in the Life

All of a sudden, everyone on the beach is standing up and looking out toward the ocean. The waves have been crashing hard all morning and I wonder if they see the boat responsible for the monster waves, or if a surfer has had a bad wipe-out, of if someone is being sucked under by the wicked current. My brain conjures up the image of my husband body surfing and I hope he isn’t the reason for the sudden beach audience. Turning from Jackson as he plays contentedly in his little sand hole I scan the horizon, eyes darting to the breaking waves and further beyond and back.

And then I see them.


Their bodies are slick and fast as they break the surface of the water. The spray from their blowholes is the easiest way to find them at first. Sometimes their dorsal fins make an appearance. They are hunting, maybe. Playing, definitely. They are no more than a city block’s distance from where I stand. They are within swimming distance of N.C.

“Honey, look. Look!” I catch his attention and point, directing him to my line of sight. He scans the water, trying to find what I’m seeing. The moment he sees them, I know. “Wow,” he mouths.

Their sleek bodies are calming to watch. The beach is not a serene place with a toddler, oh no, but today I am at peace. The boy and I play and dig and laugh. I mother and guide and correct. When I get frustrated I look back out to the water and see them, gliding back and forth in the waves, and I am settled. I’m mesmerized by them. They play in the surf, right in front of us, occasionally jumping gracefully from water to sky to water. I keep expecting them to leave, but they remain in eyesight for well over an hour, maybe two. Jackson is non-plussed, more interested in digging in the sand than in the awesome display of nature in front of us. As I watch three of them surf a particularly large wave, I have to laugh. The surfers the next break over would be jealous of those moves.

“We are so blessed to live here.”


clara June 28, 2011 at 3:31 pm

I love this. I feel your calm and I can see the beach as you see it. Just beautiful.

Ginger June 28, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Thanks Clara. I’ve been trying to play with my writing more lately…I know I need more practice, but I’m glad I was able to at least get the right feeling across!

Cloud June 28, 2011 at 9:29 pm

There is nothing quite like catching sight of dolphins playing, is there? I used to drive past Torrey Pines beach between work and day care, and sometimes I’d get a treat like this. That made up for a lot of crappy traffic, let me tell you.

Ginger June 28, 2011 at 9:58 pm

It really is a special little gift about living here. I mean, seeing the ocean everyday is awesome (pretty much my only zen moments during my commute between Carlsbad and Sorrento Valley), but the dolphins? They’re something really really special.

Maria June 28, 2011 at 10:55 pm

How wonderful! Where is it that you live? I live in Greece and we often see dolphins playing around round the island coasts. It’s simply perfect.

Maria xx

Ginger June 30, 2011 at 9:55 pm

I live in Southern California. It’s pretty beautiful (though nothing like Greece I imagine!)

Cheryl June 29, 2011 at 9:32 am

I love this. It makes me wish I was sitting in the warm sand, listening to the waves. There is no more relaxing sound on earth that waves crashing on shore. Thanks for the glimpse into your amazing day.

Ginger June 30, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Thanks Cheryl!

2girlsonabench June 29, 2011 at 10:38 am

Great post – and now we have to go to the beach. 🙂

Ginger June 30, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Thanks for the kind words from the bench!

Megan June 30, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Love it, Ginger. You are so much more talented than you give yourself credit for.

Ginger June 30, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Thanks Megan. I just feel so out of my element when I try to REALLY write, not just spew forth whatever pops in my head. Not that I don’t love what I normally write here, but it rarely takes many mental gymnastics the way writing something like this does.

Jennifer July 2, 2011 at 7:55 pm

Such a beautiful post! I need to live somewhere to see amazing things in life like that!

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