They Grow On Trees

Birthday thoughts

Poetry, Parenting, SpiritualJenica HalulaComment

June gloom

Point Mugu

Sycamore Cove Beach.


This year we pay the $12 parking fee

Last time, at thirty

We gulped

And U-turned to park

On the side of The 1

And slide down the hill of succulents

to the beach


Today, In the white fog

I inch toward the thundering waves

The sea is all silver

edged in white embroidered foam

The beach is fifteen-year old

Wedding band gold


I step into the ocean foam

And it’s shocking cold

To my toes

But the waves graciously

Rush to greet me

Rising, as I enter the sea

They fold in on themselves, bowing

And softly pool

Around my feet

What would knock me

Unconscious 40 feet away

Smoothes like a crepe over the

Sand around me

I stand there until I have eaten my fill.


We hear a thundering now and then

As a well-timed wave charges against the rocks south of us.

We can barely see it, through the fog,

Salt water splashes as high

As the highway above


My daughter wears

My extra flip-flops for the first time today

Because we can’t find hers

And she’s out-grown them anyway

Mine are big on her feet, but barely


My children run up the beach

Away from the unexpected wave

Their feet pound but the sound is absorbed by wet sand

And haze.


Pelicans ride the waves

In twos and threes

One after another all the way down the beach.

They fly so near the moving surface

How do you they know how low is too low?

And is it for work or for fun?

My children build elaborate sand castles

As far west

As they can

And must start from scratch

Every so often

Just as we have done

Moving west.


I sit on the blanket

Haze now crawling between me and my son at the edge of the sea

And also between my son and the wall of waves beyond him.

The waves rise behind him slowly,

to three, four five times his height

before they crest and fall innocently spitting at his sand-castle

It feels precarious

With him out there in the world

Beyond my reach

We brought him to the beach

The day after he was born

Back then he and I slept under shade

While father and daughter played

Now the sea spreads out like spider webs under his feet


Soon my sandy blonde

will turn snow white thin and silver

Like the edges of the sea

And I will face it squarely

Leaning in

With both feet planted

I didn’t come here to fight

But to face every wave.