A walk on the bright side

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    I decided to take a walk along the beach this evening. The sun was just beginning to set – the sky was a deep baby blue, some purples, with tropical red/pink clouds. The ocean was aqua with rainbows in the spray from the waves. As I got closer to the Point, I saw a seal dive from a rock into the clear water – I could see the seal’s body moving to the currents, playing and “body surfing” in the waves. My mouth was smiling, my heart was happy and high, my mind felt light.

    I walked home, and as I entered my gate I saw rabbits running and heard the beginning of the night sounds. My home was safe and cozy, I looked out the window to see millions of stars, my cats were happy to see me and purring around my feet, my dog ran to drink water happy to be home after her walk. Later, as I waited for the man who shares all this with me to arrive home, the coyotes sang and howled to me.

    The next morning I had the privilege to escort a few very young children on a hike at our Nature Preserve, Charmlee. Around me, once again, was nature’s beauty — butterflies, fall flowers, rock formations, native plants and trees, birds, lizards and other creatures and fantastic panoramic views.

    How fortunate I am to be here in such a beautiful area. And then I thought of all those complaining people. I thought of J. Patrick Maginnis’ letter to the editor of Sept. 24, who was upset because his daughter couldn’t go to Crown Bookstore in Malibu because it closed and had to go “all the way” to Thousands Oaks or Westlake. My first thought was what about our local bookstores — they may be small but they can order books for you. Also, we do have a nice library that can request books from other libraries and that has a computer for public use. I may not go back as far as many readers, but I remember Malibu when Point Dume was pronounced “Doo-may,” when the only entertainment was going over to the Crazy Horse (now the Malibu Inn) for a beer. And the best breakfast was at the Colony (now a parking lot for the shopping center). Actually, I liked it that way — I’m the reclusive type anyway! Then something happened around the ’80s — lots of people moved into Malibu, unfortunately, many came for the “prestige” of having a Malibu address! Many had no idea of the fortune of nature but wanted to make a fortune by plowing through nature. More and more building started and the insight of being able to have our own city to help balance out nature and the building came into being.

    So now we have our own city, and another letter to the editor came to mind, this one in the form of a poem – which was really slanderous trite. Malibu can actually be the example for the rest of California — for the rest of our country. We have the opportunity to show the importance of preserving our environment — land and sea (and even air — so much new air traffic). And what do we do? Complain and slander! Remember the expression, “You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time?” So maybe our City Council is not doing things the way you would — at least respect the fact that they are the ones sitting there hour after hour trying. I think we all need to appreciate – even more – what we have. We should be able to give constructive criticism that leads to solutions — and be willing to get involved.

    Then there’s always the PCH problem. I think we are all inconvenienced by the closing of lanes on PCH. But isn’t it better than when it was completely closed? Actually, I try to create value in every situation. When PCH closed, I made my drives an adventure. I found new routes, I caught up on my reading by getting audio books — I couldn’t wait to get in the car and “read” the next chapter — or perhaps listen to my favorite music. Yes, at times it took me three hours instead of 40 minutes to get to my destination — and I got cranky sometimes. But at least now I don’t have to go through the Valley, and I can see the ocean while I’m “crawling” home.

    So by all means, give your input — but let’s try to do this thinking of the whole picture (not just what we want). In Malibu, the whole picture includes our unique environment — we’ve pushed enough of the native creatures off land to build. It seems to be time to put the children’s heritage, and earth’s creatures first – hopefully in 20 years there will still be enough space, nature and clean ocean. To do that takes work, commitment and perhaps even a trade-off — a “sacrifice” — a little less thinking of self. But life is cause and effect. Think of the great effects that come from noble causes!

    There is enough garbage news in our country and our world. We don’t have to be “Pollyanna” in Malibu — there’s a lot of negative stuff here too — but we can unite more for a healthy aware environment for humans that is animal friendly and alert to our native plants. Let’s “roll up our sleeves” and get to work!

    Everything is sacred.

    Alessandra DeClario