Manhattan, CA

"These. These are real waves," I thought to myself. It was overcast, but I still squinted my eyes. The waves were big and they were loud. I think the repetitive roar of their forming and crashing is what I noticed first. The sand wasn't white, but it was abundant, flat, and warm. There was a misty fog rolling in. I only had a short time. 

I limped down to the water awkwardly because I pull my quad in my left leg. Long story short- I haven't hiked in a while. But I was too distracted to notice the pain. And it wasn't by the seagulls that were nosy, fat, and clustered, but by the thought of my old Great Dane, Lu. We threw her ashes in the ocean back on the East Coast. But as soon as I heard the water, I knew she had made it here, too. The emotions-- I mean, waves--came barreling in: blues, greens, and soon brown with sand. 

I tiptoed backwards from the icy whitecapped water, but it caught the front half of my feet and sent a life-giving chill up my spine. I took a deep, salty, smoggy breath in and instantaneously every sense was alive. This is what it's like to feel a place.  How am I possibly supposed to capture all of that into an image?