On Saturday Odile was just pushing her way North, just off shore. We saw the waves and the wind intensify throughout the day as the category 4 hurricane pushed ever closer, inching her way up the coast. It was the perfect day for a trip to El Tecuan and Arroyo Seco. These two beaches lie side by side, split down the middle by the waters of the lagoon. Its like a broken heart. Or maybe they are being held together. Constant flow. Give and take. Fresh water, salt water. Gentle and violent. When I visit this stretch of the coast I am struck by the dichotomy. Solace and comfort. Stillness and adventure. Quiet seas and thundering, crashing waves. Permanent rock, shifting sand. Constant ocean yet never exactly the same; every wave bringing in new treasure and in the process emptying itself just a little more – only to be filled again and again.
We packed up scones and a thermos of black tea, soda bread and sharp cheddar cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, a beer, a simple arugula salad. We made our way to the little bite between the two beaches where we found a nice place to sit and explore. We unearthed an eel and found twisted, tangled driftwood that now hangs on the kitchen wall. When the tide had gone down enough for us to wade across the lagoon we walked the length of Tecuan and found evidence of dozens of hatched sea turtles, shells littering the dips that were the warm womb for the little survivors. We collected all the shells and bleach white bones we could carry plus one small, blue, rusted coin purse. The weather was getting worse as we walked back to our picnic site but the kids jumped in the waves anyway, not minding the rain. We scared crabs from one side of the rocks to the other. Finally, we wrapped our purple lipped children up in warm raincoats and made our way home.
After this lovely sabbath we are diving headlong into the preparations for opening La Taza Negra. We will start with Wednesdays – a nice soft opening! So many decisions to make, adjustments to figure out, unpacking boxes, pulling out recipes. . . Lists being made, items crossed off, new tasks added. A picnic on an empty, solitary beach was just the way to start this season.