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Three Amish at Windansea
by Brian Dear

11 June 2003.

The amazing thing I saw early this morning was, while walking my dog Jesse along the sidewalk along Windansea Beach, the sight of three Amish people down near the edge of the surf, standing and looking at the ocean and the surfers out in the water.

Three Amish people, one older man and two younger women, all three dressed in full Amish clothing head to toe. The man, sporting a long gray beard, wore the traditional hat, black vest, black pants, black shoes, and dark blue longsleeve shirt. He placed his right foot up on a rock and leaned down on his right leg. He didn't speak to the others, just looked out at the ocean. The first woman wore a plain solid blue dress (which to my heathen eyes appeared heavy and thick and multilayered enough to keep one warm in a blizzard) and the traditional white cotton prayer covering over her hair. The second woman had the same heavy long dress only in plain solid green, with the same white cotton prayer covering on her head.

The three stood there as Jesse and I stood up on the sidewalk on the bluff above and behind them. Local La Jollans who would normally drive or jog or walk or hurry by, slowed or paused or even stopped to marvel with me at the sight of three Amish people on Windansea Beach. One woman, walking by talking onto a headset cellphone, stopped cold in her tracks at the sight of the Amish. Then she slowly walked away. Three Amish people in hedonistic, materialistic, super-rich La Jolla, where the houses along this beach sell for $10 million and up. Not the usual thing one sees around these parts.

The Amish woman in the green dress walked down to the waves. She was barefoot. She lifted her skirt and walked into the foamy water, her legs white and smooth as ivory. By her expression I'd say she noticed right away how chilly the water was. She smiled at her companions. Her parents? She stepped back onto the sand before the next wave could crash too close.

The three Amish then began slowly walking north along the beach. Jesse and I headed south.


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