La Jolla: The Children’s Pool

Standing upon a seawall, rust-encrusted rails on all sides, surf crashing oceanwards.

Two Young Sea Lions

Holiday humans, Sunday humans surround us, tightly packed, surprisingly silent except for murmurs of delight.

We share flashes of smiles, a word or two.

Below us, on the sheltered side of the seawall, baby sea lions are sheltered.

We humans watch them, muted perhaps by the sound of the waves, perhaps by our own wonder and pleasure.

The baby sea lions haven’t noticed us. They hardly notice the sea gulls above the kelp line on the sand.

The baby sea lions notice waves. Some haul themselves onto the slick wet rock almost out of reach.

There is a place in the rock like a cradle, just large enough to hold one fat pup. A pup sleeps there, rocked back and forth by the water.

One of its creche-mates struggles onto a higher spot on the rock, flippers cradle-sleeper in the head. The sleeper stirs restlessly, as it had not when the waves had covered it.

At the edge of the worlds where water meets sand, two other pups, bolder, or perhaps merely less drowsy, align themselves in careful parallel with the waves.

When the wave comes in, they’re rolled up and down, below the water.

Like us on the wall, they are silent, but we feel their delight as if they squealed it aloud.

The air smells strongly of drying kelp. Of sea gull. Perhaps of wet sea lion.

I have no idea. I am lost in the wet pleasure of waves and baby sea lions.

7 Responses to “La Jolla: The Children’s Pool”

  1. Alan Robson Says:

    And that, Jane, is why you are a writer and the rest of us are merely scribblers. So few words, but put together in a way that absolutely captures the moment so perfectly that I can hear it, see it, smell it and taste it.

  2. heteromeles Says:

    Awwwww, aren’t those harbor seal pups cute! Sorry I missed you in San Diego. Hope it went really well.

  3. Ann M Nalley Says:

    Wonderful! I feel as if I were there, experiencing it with you! Thank you for sharing this.

  4. Paul Says:

    What Alan said — my sentiments exactly and I can’t express them any better.

  5. Eric Says:

    Beautifully described, Jane!

  6. rick walter Says:

    Gorgeous lyricism! You took me back half a century, Jane. One of my grandmothers was a seamstress in La Jolla, just a quarter mile from the cove, and I got to vacation with her over a dozen times when I was a kid. The sea lions were great (also the jellyfish, abalone, sand dollars, and sharks). You brought them back for me.

    I’ve enjoyed your other spontaneous outbursts as well, Jane, but this one was a true poem.

    All the best,
    Rick Walter

  7. Kelly Linzey Says:

    This was a lovely piece that really brought forth all my senses! Thank you for sharing!

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