We got a surprise fly-by from a 1950’s Navy propeller plane yesterday as we walked down Broad Beach in Malibu. The breaking waves underneath only added to the uniqueness and buzz of the moment. I don’t think I’ve ever seen plane fly so low.
Broad Beach was one of my grandparents’ favorite spots in LA and I know they would have gotten a kick out of seeing the plane (They both served in the armed forces - my grandfather in the Navy, and my grandmother in the South African Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. It’s how they met while both stationed in Cairo, Egypt during WWII).
I remember many of the trips we took to Broad Beach. My grandfather and I walking down the secret paths, exploring rock formations at low tide, and adding to my ever accumulating rock and shell collection. I still have many of those rocks we collected. While they may seem outwardly unremarkable - I keep them because they help me remember.
Too much of the time, though, I layer a heavy sentimentality on top of these memories. It’s easy and instinctive for me to focus on the people and places that are now gone or far away - the feeling that there’s no way to ever recreate those moments again.
Experiencing the beach, and then the surprise of the plane flying by was a nice reminder that I can add to the old memories. It was a much needed jolt to let me know that memories are not stale, untouchable objects. While some of the people may be gone or far away, the memories are ever evolving.