One of the marvelous things about the beaches along the area of the California Redwood Coast where I live is that there aren’t many people on them. You don’t have to pay for parking or struggle to find a good parking place. You don’t have to search for a spot on the beach to set your chair and beach-hanging out accessories. In fact, you don’t see many chairs at all on the beach. These aren’t those kinds of beaches.
People are usually in motion here — walking, running, clamming, commanding remote-control airplanes and helicopters, flying kites, parasailing, riding horses. And while there can be sometimes as many as 50 people at the beach, there’s always plenty of room for everyone to stretch out on these long, sandy beaches that go on for miles.
During one of my beach walks a few days ago, I noticed I had traveled quite a distance north, further than usual. Easy to do when you’re caught up in the scenery, the sounds of the surf, the calls of the gulls and crows, the blue of the sea and the sky, the changing texture of the sand, the sight of the majestic redwoods behind you. It was low tide, and the birds munched on the delicate tasties of the sea. They had let me get closer than they ever had before, so I slowly pulled my phone out of my pocket to capture the moment on video. They didn’t notice me as I quietly filmed their fine dining experience.
They gorged on, oblivious to anything but their intent to mange. I don’t know why, but I started singing to them in their seaside cafe:
Shima is a Native American word from the Hopi language meaning love. If you’ve played the djembe drum with me, you know how it goes. Or if you’re a fan of Deva Premal or if you run in spiritual circles, you know how it goes. It’s a chant that keeps on going, hard to stop singing it. If you want to shima some more, here ya go. Feel free to sing along, play your hand drum or, clap along, dance, meditate, or munch on some delicacies from the sea. It’s all about shima.