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Cove at Monterey
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The Spectator
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 by Frank Shortt
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As the ocean waves come crashing in, there are no two alike. They play sweet tunes upon my receptive ears. Each wave, seemingly harmless, erodes a small amount of beach leaving a deposit of kelp or driftwood behind.

The shaping of this cove has taken many years. Who knows what it must have looked like before there were any inhabitants? There must have been cliffs that dwindled through time, becoming the sandy beach where mankind can now bask lazily in the sun. Seaside caves finally collapsed becoming part of the ocean floor. Who knows if huge forests of cypress once lined the landscape, now driftwood on some foreign shore? A fertile imagination can possibly see the past and what lies in the future.

Children noisily hop the surf, blind to all the beauty around them. Thousands daily tread the sand, having only their destination in mind. Most visitors have only one thing in mind, having fun! When they arrive home there will be many stories to tell. Each adventure will become foremost in the mind of the teller. A small sand castle, built in haste before the tide arrives to obliterate it, becomes a huge chateau in France or a fortress in Germany. Small oyster shells become dwelling places for mermen and mermaids. A child's imagination is a wondrous thing!

In early morning, artists line the shore, trying to capture the early light. Each interpretation is unmatched as individual artists unconsciously try to outdo their neighbor's efforts to capture the moment. Creative juices flow with each stroke of the ever-moving brush or palette knife. No matter the effort, the original creation is impossible to capture in its entirety! As the sun becomes hotter, these painters of light pack up their easels, palettes, brushes and hopes for even greater canvasses, and trudge homeward or to their favorite café to discuss the day's production.

As each wave returns home, one must ask, how far did you travel to give us this moment of enjoyment? What hands spawned your genesis? At what depth did you begin your journey? We are told that waves are caused by energy passing through the water. Who created this energy? This energy causes the water to move in a circular motion. Gravitational pull of the sun and moon also causes waves. Each wave is called a 'tidal wave'. All too often we associate 'tidal waves' with earthquakes, sometimes wiping out total coastal cities. Who could possibly think bad thoughts as the gentle waves come into the Cove at Monterey?

As I return home, to the ever-moving waves of pedestrians on the streets of the cities, I am reminded of the incessant waves at the Cove of Monterey. It is my hope that these city waves do not become a huge tidal wave wiping out the remembrance of our places of inhabitance. I am happy to say that this is not in my hands.