My Special Place. Pacific.

by John Michael Gill

Born and raised in Torrance California there was always one place I could go for peace. I could drive to the cliffs of Palos Verdes and look out on the vast wilderness of the Pacific. There were many days when I found myself feeling shattered or confused. I would be completely frightened or angry because I simply did not know how to put myself back together. Whatever was not going right, or whatever problem I had, the ocean would answer me. If I was broken, the ocean would put me back together with a simple, silent whisper.

I could stand where land meets sea simply looking out at the horizon and feel this sense of calm. I could think about how small I really am and gain a proper perspective on my place in this life. Images of my life would dance in my minds eye. Images of my Father and me walking along the shore when I was small and he seemed so big. The sense of his involvement in my relationship with nature overcomes me and I am thankful. Thankful for that stretch of ocean, which was almost a textbook to my love and appreciation for nature and my part in it. My relationship with my special place is a form of my relationship with my Father who is as calming a presence as any other in my life.

Overtime I learned how to become part of the ocean by participating in it’s awesome power. When there were no waves I would paddle far out and just float. Being out in the ocean keeps me in touch with my youth. Maybe that stretch of beach is my memories personal time capsule?

As time goes by what I know for a fact is the ocean off of Torrance and Palos Verdes became my church and taught me to remain humble for there are things much larger and intensely more beautiful then we can comprehend.

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