This past weekend I visited Royal Palms Beach in San Pedro, California. My family was visiting from Tennessee and we decided to show them a few of the beaches around my hometown. The lens I will be using today is familial. I have taken them to many beaches in th past but this experience was different. It was a very nice feeling to take my family to a place that is somewhat rare to them. They hardly ever visit California, so I know every different beach I take them to is a great experience for them.
It truly makes me appreciate the region that I live in. Not only is being a native Californian a blessing, but living within ten miles of the coast is a bigger blessing. Some people go their whole lifetime without even visiting the beach and I have it in my backyard.
The experience was also very soothing. We got to experience a beautiful sunset. Aside from enjoying time with my family, I also felt a sense of peace. With midterms going on, it was definitely stress-reliever. At times where I feel overwhelmed or on the verge of giving up on school, I always like to visit the beach. As I see marine life and the beach ecosystem, it reminds me why I am trying so hard in school. I hope to one day work in conservation biology and going to the beach always reminds me of my goals.
While being here with my family, I talked about my career plans with my family. They brought up a point that I had never considered. They asked if I believed that living this close to the beach influenced my career. I would like to believe that this would be my career choice regardless of where I was from or lived, but i do believe being super exposed to the beach influenced my career choice. Overall, I am grateful that I am a Californian. Many times we take what we have near us for granted. It not only gives me a chance to bond with my family but it gave me a new interest and purpose in life.
Two weekends ago, I went on my first trip to Santa Rosa Island with my GIS class. Although we went to learn about mapping etc., I came out of the trip with a different perspective of the beach. I can’t remember the last time I went a few days without my phone or communication with people on the mainland. Although it did make me somewhat anxious, disconnecting from reality was much needed. The lens that I will be using today is the spiritual lens.
For starters, whenever we had free time I made my way down to the beach. With no phone, all I could really do was take in the view and the beauty. At that point I was grateful that I didn’t have a phone to distract me from the beauty of the beach. As I sat on the beach, I realized how lucky I was to even be on an island with such beautiful waters. The reason I chose a spiritual lens was because as I sat on the beach I began to think very deeply. It made me think about all the things that matter in life are not material or physical things. Living in a society where owning expensive shoes, cars, clothes, etc. defines “success”, I began to think about what I believe really mattered. Getting to know new places, meeting new people, and inner peace is what I felt really mattered. It overall made me appreciate sitting on a beach with so much history.
The reason I say history, is because of the structure of the beach. In Dr. Kiki Patsch’s Physical Oceanography class, i learned that throughout the years, sea floors rise creating a new sort of shelf. It was my first time actually noticing that natural process. It was apparent that the shelf was sea floor before because of how fragile it looked. As I took this into consideration, I thought about how I was literally sitting on a mini time capsule. I was sitting on a beach with so much history behind it and this made me realize that ALL beaches have an insane amount of history to them. This beach trip alone allowed me to appreciate the beach because of the sense of peace and gratefulness I got as I was there. (unfortunately, my phone was low on storage so I wasn’t able to save my pictures I took on the actual beach, but this is me on a hike with the ocean view in the back.)