Black Sand Peace Paddle // 2/21/21

The Manhattan Beach Pier is the place I go when the day is far from over and my parenting has run out. It gives my kids 928 feet to run far away from their cabin fever and me. 

We were there the morning the covid restrictions were lifted and the pier officially reopened last June. It's the first place I ever visited in Manhattan Beach. For some unimportant reason the pier is just the place I keep coming back to. For sanity, for interest, for photos, for fun. It's not sacred, but it's something to me.

When I read about the peace paddle I knew there was no way I could miss it. 

In response to a racist incident in the water a few weeks ago, two local surfers organized the Black Sand Peace Paddle at the Manhattan Beach Pier. They invited surfers from all over LA to come together in peace and love to share the ocean. Hate, they said, will not be tolerated. All humans welcome.

I got down to the sand at about 7:30am, after everyone was already out in the water. There was a spirit of bravery, hope, and strength. It was like worship. You couldn't miss it. I almost felt like I didn't belong because I've never had lived experience with racism like so many surfers that day have had. It felt like their moment. I felt lucky, in every sense of the word, to be there.

Canon EOS 3, 24-70mm lens, Kodak Gold 200. Process + scan by @goodmanfilmlab.
Manhattan Beach, CA