After most people have turned down the lights and climbed into bed – this is my favorite time to take a walk to the beach. Long after the sun sets and the tourists have gone home, the sand and saltwater become my home again. Just me, the sea and the moon. This night, the clouds are thick enough to dim its normally brilliant light making it extra daring to tread out on the rocks that jut into the water. Even though PCH is still fairly busy, I hear nothing of cars or engines or annoying joy riding motorcycles or city busses. All I hear is waves crashing loudly – one of my favorite sounds in the whole world. To my left, I can see the lights from the ferris wheel on the Santa Monica Pier. To my right, a flashing color strobe light from a rager at a swanky home in Malibu. But directly in front of me, only dark dark steely grey (not quite black) gently covered by a layer of smoky fog. Until a white splash bursts forward when the water crashes into the jetty.  All I smell is sweet salt water. One of my favorite scents in life. This is magic.

Within minutes the waves crash closer beneath the rocks where I sit making it more and more plausible that I’ll get soaked as the seconds go by. I think of walking in. I do. But in this moment it seems sitting above the waves is enough to benefit from their cleansing strokes. Every crash shatters my illusions and every lapse back to sea washes away the residual debris. The purifying truth telling sea. Yes, in its vast darkness, it’s my favorite place to be.

This is the only noise I ever want to hear again. I want to stay here forever. I dread turning my back on all of this dark mystery to walk up the long hill home. It feels like one of those magical dates that starts in the afternoon and lingers unexpectedly  – along with kisses and gentle touches – into the depths of night. One you never want to end. But eventually, it does.

Even though I’m back on concrete, tolerating the occasional vehicle riding by, just as I’m ascending my ears take in something different. Frogs – tenors, bass, altos and sopranos – all contributing their unique CROAKS to the symphony of nature. It was as if I was sitting front row of a raging frog concert. Until a vehicle races by and, as if the frogs detect an intruder into their private concert, fall silent.

I continue my climb home, knowing the night and I share some very private moments. Thoughts that are never to be discussed, words that only we exchange, dreams only She will know. In Her darkness, my secrets will always be safe.

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