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P.O. Box 1060, La Mesa, CA 91944-1060, USA

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by David N. Sattler


The spectacular coastline bordering La Jolla is a masterpiece of creation. Meandering along the Pacific Ocean just north of downtown San Diego, it is revered for miraculous tide pools, diverse wildlife, inviting sapphire water, and breathtaking colors that fill the sky at the edge of day.

On tawny cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, cormorants and seagulls construct nests made of twigs and teach their young the intricacies of flight and fishing. California sea lions swim with finesse and slumber peacefully on craggy rocks in the mid-day sun. Harbor seals raise their young on a protected beach that serves as a rookery, and pelicans soar overhead with grace and elegance. Underwater, the La Jolla Canyon, a trench that stretches from near shore to deeper waters offshore, provides a vital supply of food for those with flippers, fins, and feathers.

We humans don our own version of flippers and fins when body surfing, scuba diving, and swimming. On shore, children chase each other around the spruce and juniper trees, whose artistic, twisted trunks are designed by the ocean’s winds. Frisbees swirl near picnic baskets. But, surely, it is the wildlife that captures our attention and imagination. Will a line of pelicans come flying in over the next cresting wave? Might we catch sight of a dolphin’s fin or the tail of a whale migrating from Alaska to Baja California?

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in,” wrote John Muir, “where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” When we get away from the press and clatter of our daily lives and walk on the sand and soil among wildlife, feel the light touch of a breeze on our skin and the moisture of the sea air, or take in the fragrance of the lovely bougainvillea, we find ourselves on home ground. We feel our kinship with the Earth and draw on its mystery and majesty to renew us.

Nature is very much awake at La Jolla Cove, and it evokes in us joy and gratitude. What a marvelous place for reflection and reverence—a jewel where we can celebrate the miracle of life!

—David N. Sattler

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