Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Change At The Beach

"There is nothing permanent except change." -Heraclitus

Last week, I went to the Mukilteo Beach.

Oh, I know. You've heard it all before.

Because I've been there a hundred different times. 

And each time, I breathlessly report in about my beach-going activities, as if they were fascinatingly novel and mind-blowing different from the umpteen gazillion other times I've gone to the beach.

As you well know, it always goes pretty much exactly like this:

First, my dog marches straight into the Puget Sound waters and wanders around a bit until she remembers that 

a) this water tastes strangely awful,
b) submerging oneself in ice water is really not that much fun,

and then she quickly hops back out again and shakes it all off like a bad dream.
Forget it. I'm freezing. 

Of course, I take at least forty-five pictures of this fifteen-second adventure. Always.

* * * * *

Next, I turn my eye to the greater surroundings.

Rippling waves.
Golden sunshine.

Rocky beach.
Drift logs. 

 And of course, a floating dock or a fishing pier, to add a dash of man-made geometry to this delicious dish of nature.
On the right, the tree-covered southern tip of Whidbey Island.
Hidden in the cloud bank straight ahead, the Olympic Peninsula and lots of pretty mountains.
To the left, visible only on the clearest days, the Seattle skyline. 

I dutifully snap away, as if noticing the scenery for the very first time.

Click click clickclickclickclickclick. 

As if there aren't a million shots of the very same vistas already sitting in my camera roll.

Trust me. There are. 

* * * * *

As I often do, I march over to the fish bar down the block, and treat myself. Permanently ensconced at the top of my preference list is the kid size (trust me, it's plenty big) chocolate and vanilla swirl soft serve ice cream cone. 

Predictably, I'm halfway back to the beach and ten licks in before I remember that I forgot - once again - to take a photo of my unsullied cone. 


* * * * *
Always cute. 

I wander back to the grassy lawn near the lighthouse where Gracie has hunted down hundreds of rabbits, licking my cone and reflecting on the comforting familiarity of this entire beachy ritual, when it finally hits me.

Tonight, there is something radically, entirely, fundamentally different about the beach.

The ferry dock is gone!

I mean, I knew this change was coming. It's been many long years of negotiation with state agencies to move this traffic-generating beast off the main drag in town, and give the entire ferry complex - docks, ramps, holding lots, ticket booths, overflow waiting lanes - all the space it needs to operate without completely clogging the arteries of the rest of town. 

I've even had the lovely opportunity to ride the ferry home and arrive at the new dock. 

But this is the very first time I've been to the beach since the move, and watching the big boats chug across the waters and land about a half mile up the shoreline instead of right on top of the beach boundary, well, this was a new and utterly novel experience.

And as I polish off my cone and watch yet another predictably glorious sunset unfold, I reflect on what a surprise it is to find that something has indeed changed at the beach. 

* * * * * 

Here are a few recent stories about Mukilteo Beach with photos that show the ferry parked at its old dock. For your Before and After pleasure.

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