Last Sunday (was it just last Sunday? It feels like a month ago for some reason) we walked to one of my favorite local beaches, Pebble Beach. Or Pebbly Beach, or Pobble Beach, depending on how old your source is when looking for its name. Pebble Beach is named for a wall of small stones piled high, creating a barrier between the beach and the road. The winter storms this year beat the wall to pieces and our town’s Department of Public Works has been working hard to bring the beach back and restore the road.
When you see a long, long line of smooth rocks piled high, it is hard to resist the urge to build something. And then knock down what you build by throwing rocks at it. Building and destroying took the better part of an early spring afternoon. Thankfully we weren’t nearly as destructive as the ocean has been, so our rock piles have already been reabsorbed into the general landscape of the beach, but to spend time creating and tearing down — and then starting the process all over again — can lead to a sort of meditation on the cyclical nature of things, and the nearly irresistible urge to destroy what we make.