Beach Party and Bonfire at Seabright State Beach

“Enjoy your life now, it has an expiration date.”

Cecile and I were one of ten couples that congregated on Seabright State Beach late Saturday afternoon. It has become an annual event.
We brought our foldable beach chairs, our contribution of food and drink and our intention to have a great time and catch up with old friends. 
It was a beautul day for a beach party. Seabright is less crowded than the Santa Cruz Boardwalk Beach. From where we sat we could see the Santa Cruz Breakwater Lighthouse in the mouth of the harbor. If you enjoy sunsets, walks on the beach, no crowds, this is the perfect place to settle down for a party and be with nature. When one is at the beach, time doesn’t move hour to hour, but moment to moment. After we set down our gear and food supplies, we spotted a solitary playful seal enjoying rising and falling beneath the ocean surf. We had plenty of appetizers like imported cheeses, avocado dip, chips, salads smoked salmon...We had staked out our spot where we had access to a barbecue grill that would later be transformed into a bonfire pit that ran late into the night. Just before sundown, a patrol officer drove-up onto the beach as we were having a drink—busted!🙂“There is no alcohol allowed on the beach,” he said. But as we looked around plenty of people skirt the law and drink discretely. The officer gave us a warning and went on his way. 

Putting aside our run in with the law,🙂 it was a festive evening from start to finish. 
We had music playing, there was some singing and dancing by members of our group. We enjoyed grilled hot dogs, brisket, an assortment of vegetarian dishes and enjoyed the lingering pink-orange sunset. Elaine, one of the friends in our group was celebrating her birthday. The cake that was in a plastic box was covered to keep it cool, and another friend inadvertently left his carbon footprint on it (crunch!)🙂. But, I’m not telling who it was. Whatever happens in Seabright stays in Seabright.😎

One of the most interesting and fun parts of the evening was taking part in a Jewish ceremony called Tashlich, which means to “cast away,” a ritual performed on Rosh Hashanah or the 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (the Jewish New Year). It is done by casting crumbs or a morsal of bread into a body of water, indicative of casting off one’s “burdens” or "sins," in preparation for the New Year. In effect it is a purification ceremony, a process of letting go that wipes the slate clean and returns you to your true “unadulterated" self. It reminded me of going into the confessional in my Catholic youth and being absolved of my sins.

Each person was given a morsel of bread. We then walked close to the ocean’s edge, turned our backs and flipped the bread into the water. As we did so, a ton of seagulls came out of nowhere and it became an outright feeding frenzy. It seemed as if these beautiful, energetic and hungry creatures were only too willing to relieve us of our burdens🙂.
As it began to get dark, the birthday cake was brought out with sparklers and we sang Happy Birthday to Elaine and then dug in. By this time all the barbecues along the beach were now full blown contained bonfires. The stars were shining bright and it felt good to be alive.