A Walk on the Beach

Shannon and Pat Coskran. Courtesy photo

By Pat Coskran, Santa Clarita Contributor


“Let’s take a walk, Shannon.” My 18 year old daughter enthusiastically agrees and we set off from our campsite and head for the San Simeon beach.

We don’t have much private time—just the 2 of us—but this morning my wife Linda and Shannon’s brother, Sean are still snoozing in our tent, so I’m seizing the moment.

An orange sliver of sun is barely visible, rising above the fog draped hills. We walk toward the sound of the waves breaking just beyond our view. Crossing a meandering river inlet Shannon is balancing on a water-logged tree trunk, straddling the stream as a makeshift bridge. I wobble the log to mess with her concentration and balance.

“Dad!” she chuckles, “Knock it off.”

I cherish our relationship, including how we play pranks on each other. Shannon is moving to Irvine for college next week. I won’t have her wonderful spirit available to me as often as I’m accustomed to, and the reality is sinking in.

We walk along the tide line, barefooted, holding our sand filled shoes, and solving the problems of the world. The tide is steadily rising, soaking and capturing increasingly larger portion of the shore like army troops advancing on the beach.

I walk next to her, closer to the water, watching her hazel eyes pick up glints of the early morning light. Her long, brown, un-brushed hair harbors sand grains from living like vagabonds in this beach environment for a few days. Her relaxed eloquence makes me marvel at how she is growing into such an amazing person—maybe not my little girl anymore.

Totally engaged and relishing this experience, I’m startled by a loud roar and thump, signally the proximity of a wave. I turn away from Shannon to see that it’s too late. Frothy, salt water swirls around my knees. The force of the rushing current knocks me off balance, and I tumble unceremoniously, butt first, into the foam.

I look around to make sure that my little girl is safe. The sound of uproarious laughter reveals

Shannon, sprawled on the dry sand, and totally enjoying the scene.

“Gotcha, Dad!” She exclaims with great glee.

Swallowing what little pride I have left, I respond, “Well done my girl!”

What a wicked sense of humor. Wonder who she gets that from?

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