A trip to the beach enables Jennifer Liss to go back in time.
Last week I learned how to time travel. After I finished work in the afternoon, my family drove to the coast from Santa Rosa, via the Bodega Highway, as we’ve done dozens of times. When we descended down to Doran Beach, everything was still familiar and current; a lone egret perched on the edge of the wetlands, fog resting above the ocean. The sand was warm and the Pacific was the color of green sea glass. It was beautiful and normal.
Then I did something I hadn’t done in so long. I tugged on a wetsuit, tucked a boogie board under my arm, and headed out into the soft surf. I positioned myself at the base of a rising wave. The time traveling commenced.
Suddenly, I was sucked 35 years into the past. I was eight, tan, and singularly focused on the wave building behind me. It pulled me back, slightly, and then spit me forward. My small hands gripped the top of the board and my skinny legs kicked furiously. Salty white wash sprayed up my nose, burning in a good way.
I rode the wave the whole way, to dry sand full of bits of broken shells. When I rested my head on the board, my mind did wild somersaults from the past into the present and back again.