Today was a downtown day. So it was a walk along the harbor at Seaport Village rather than a walk along the beach in South Carlsbad.
The harbor is not the ocean. It is salt water, but that is almost as far as the likeness can be stretched. The harbor is calm. It is fairly smooth and flat. It has no surf other than the wake of (mostly) small boats. It has people working and moorings and sailboats and boats for hire and rocks and tourists and sunshine and trees and Coronado across the way and the Midway up a bit further north. But having spent the last few weeks at the ocean — it seems pretty clear that the harbor is to the ocean as the city is to the country. The harbor is enclosed, protected, built, constructed. It seems small. Confined. The ocean just is. Out there, endless and tough and rough and beckoning . Moored only in itself, in its own it-ness. My son said time is like a Mobius strip, both linear and non-linear, looping back along itself. The sea seems like that.
Now, I loved walking to the harbor the last two years or so. It was bustling and stimulating and hinted at the open ocean beyond. My friends asked if I missed downtown. Well, yes, I do: I miss the activity, the proximity of so many conveniences, the walkability, and my downtown friends. Driving home on a highway clotted with heavy fog, I could hardly wait for tomorrow’s beach walk. I’ve been missing the ocean so much longer.