Kalaloch is a very special place for me. My trips there are points in a lifetime that I can measure the rest from.
J. and I finished off the summer this year by camping at Kalalock, WA. for four wonderful days. Located on the coast, it's a magical place that is always changing yet remains exactly the same.
I have camped there several times in my lifetime, since my family went there when I was a little kid. I can mark the chapters in my life by my trips to Kalaloch. Running gleefullyinto the waves and playing in them as a child with my brothers. The trip with my cousin's where we buried my uncle in the sand. I can still hear his laughter from that trip. Later on as a teenager, still going with my family, but treated more as an "adult". I had all of the answers them, yet had not yet lived long enough to have all those answers proved wrong.
More family friends on other trips, watching the adults get tipsy on the wine that night. Heartfelt talks with Mom, Dad always watching, making sure people were enjoying themselves, making sure people were safe. Teaching me how to live, and how to enjoy some of that life.
This time, at 50 it was fun walking around the campground, pointing to the different sites I have camped at with the different people at different times in my life, and remembering. There was the trip after graduation from high school and before the Army with my friends. Couldn't remember which campsite that was. In fact, I couldn't remember much at all about that trip, other than the fact that there was an awful lot of beer that was drank during it, and a vague memory of one or two encounters with the Park Rangers.
There was the site that I camped at with the four guys that I brought from my recovery group when I quit drinking, none of whom had ever camped before. God, that was a long, long trip. There was also the site we camped at where my toddler son ran over my foot with the van after he figured out how to put it in neutral on a hill.
Now, at a point in my life that I once heard described as the youth of old age, I added more wonderful, happy memories with J.
As I looked down the beach at Kalaloch at a scene I have seen over several decades now, I realized something. I have lived a lifetime, a full lifetime, and I have finally found my happiness. I have everything I really want right now, and it feels right. I am happy. I thought about the other times, I was never quite there before. Yet even then, some of the happiest times in my life were spent here.