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The Heritage House

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We stood at the edge of the rocky reef, peering out into the endless sea. This strip of the Pacific Ocean in northern California was unlike any I had ever beheld. My parents and I were silent, merely taking in the vast expanse of water. Entranced by the beauty of the sea, we continued to stare as time passed by unnoticed. Being at this seaside hotel was peaceful; it was a stark difference from the dry city life of Phoenix.

This vacation had taken my family and me to numerous diverse environments. Our excursion had begun back home, where the heat was arid and the landscape sparse. The journey had then led us to sunny San Diego, where tourists basked on congested beaches. Our last stop had brought us to San Francisco, where people scurried about in a whirlwind of action amid the curving streets. The tall buildings and trolley cars disappeared after a lengthy three hour car ride north along the coast. We arrived at our final destination, a new world unlike any that had preceded it.

The air felt heavy with moisture. The fresh scent of impending rain lingered in the air, and the earthy smell of thick foliage permeated the forest floor. Dark rolling clouds covered the sky, and a hazy fog lingered low over the land. The weather was crisp despite the mid-summer date. The coats we donned during the winter season in Phoenix barely managed to keep us warm here. I could not imagine how blisteringly cold this place must be in the dead of winter. Although the climate was far chillier than anything I was used to, the cool weather was refreshing. After awhile, my exposed fingers began to feel like sharp icicles. A chilly ocean breeze came up from the water and sped through the trees, causing us all to shiver. However, I did not desire to go inside. All I wanted to do was gaze out into the alluring sea.

With a fleeting glance one may not observe much taking place. Yet with attentive observation, the environment was a flurry of activity. The ocean itself was bustling. Wherever I looked, the water moved in a distinct way. In one place it may have been meandering along carelessly, and in another it was thrashing angrily against the jagged rocks. Like falling snowflakes, each wave broke in a slightly disparate manner. The water was a deep sapphire blue. The extent of the ocean was so immense that attempting to take in the entire panoramic scope of it at once felt overwhelming. It was eerie to imagine what may lie in the depths of the sea. To the left of where we stood was a narrow cove. The water that pooled up there was calm, as if the cove was the only place it could go to escape the chaotic ocean. Far in the distance, the placid water merged with the cloudy air. I was not able to discern where the ocean ended and the sky began.

Studying the sea put me into a trance-like state. I did not want to look away, for fear of missing something. My family and I huddled together as the salty ocean water misted our faces. None of us were aware of the amount of time that had passed. We were all in a tranquil mood as we took in the serene landscape. The water was occupied with an abundance of bulky granite boulders, clustered together in asymmetrical clumps. The water on them glistened from the dim sunrays that had managed to push their way through the overcast sky.
The sound of the tide swelling and breaking filled the air. Toppling waves would sometimes collide with boulders in a violent way, yet the sound of the whooshing water was still relaxing. Occasionally the soft squeak of a seagull was heard as it soared by overhead. The birds tended to fly alone and seemed utterly at ease as they fluttered above the sea peacefully. Apart from these sounds, the area was silent. Only the nature’s songs filled the air.
Behind us stood several quaint wooden cabins, nearly hidden from view by the thick forest surrounding them. Each house had a rustic porch and a tiny driveway leading right up to its door. The atmosphere was homey. Inside, the cabin was decorated in warm and inviting colors. The walls were made up of sweeping windows, allowing the outside environment to infuse the whole place. The lengthy window seat heaped with down pillows begged for someone to curl up on it and read a good book.
Admiring the ocean reminded me of entries I had read in the firehouse journal. This was a book that was kept in a desk drawer in the cabin we stayed at, where guests wrote about their visit. I marveled at the fact that so many others had stood just where I had, and had had experiences that paralleled mine in this beautiful place. Not much change occurred here. While humans came and went, the ocean was eternally there, uniform and perpetual.
Lush emerald trees swayed gently in the breeze. Each tiny leaf was blown in a separate direction, and from afar the trees appeared to be in motion. It was as if the woods were alive with a dance. Each tree was moving to its own rhythm, yet the entire
forest was in sync. Beneath the trees the ground was covered in a thick carpet of green. Grass stood high on the gently sloping hills, each blade sturdy yet delicate as it undulated effortlessly in the blustery wind. As we stood motionless, the terrain around us was teeming with indiscernible life. Butterflies waltzed in its depth of the meadow, leaving only bright flashes of color as they weaved their way through the tall blades of grass. Ants marched in unison and bees whispered in a sweet harmony. Deer frolicked mirthfully amidst the trees. Squirrels scurried along the damp ground. The creatures were all going about their days work in this small slice of paradise they called home.





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Jess B. said...
Jan. 30, 2009 at 2:07 am
I love your description. Bravo! Very well done.
 
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