For a moment on Saturday, the pandemic didn’t exist.
The day started out like many on the coast do. Slightly overcast, misty, cold… it’s the somber blanket many recall when they think of the Oregon coast. By late afternoon, the clouds broke and the sun peeked in an out of the clouds, flirting with those who were hearty enough to stick it out on the coast for the weekend. We found ourselves wrapped in layers but enjoying the fleeting rays of warmth as we walked along the coast.
We’re at that point in the year where it’s not quite the busy season on the coast but it’s not really the off season anymore. Vacation rental prices are creeping up and store fronts that were closed for the winter are cleaning the layers of salt from their windows and dusting off their displays of cheap souvenirs for the season. With that comes enough people on the beach to remind you we aren’t alone in the world, but it was easy to keep our distance and play by the COVID rules that are seemingly never ending at this point.
I ran across a small patch of rocks and instantly my focus fell to my feet. I’m always on the hunt for agate or jasper. These rocks are treasures destined for a jar of memories on a bookshelf at some point and I always go back home with at least one to add to the collection. The waves were lapping at this pile, pulling away just long enough to venture out for a search before being chased back on shore by the Pacific ocean. If you looked away just long enough, you’d miss your queue and end up drenched. Laughing, hands full of rocks, we ran out of the waves after getting caught searching in the low tide. The people looking on had gathered to see what we were finding and instead found themselves laughing.
We all stood there and laughed. Jeans sopping wet, the rocks we’d gathered being shoved into our pockets, still laughing. Maybe we all stood a little too close for 23 seconds as we laughed..
and just for that moment…
we forgot that we should have pulled our masks up.