The temperature was perfect; sunny and crisp, no need or desire for it to be a degree warmer or cooler. Part of the hike was spent swapping child hood stories, mulling over past relationships and sharing heart felt sentiments on life, love and heartbreak. And the other part of the hike was deeply enjoyed and cherished in silence; the crunch of the trail under our feet, the sporadic symphony of birds and the small splashing stream providing a peaceful soundtrack. I'm grateful for the shared comfort of silence between friends; the chance to be fully present together, to have no need to fill space that is already so lovely on its own.
As we rounded a corner towards the end of the hike a sudden shift took place. With a single step the air rushed in, salty and cold. The smell of earthy greens so startlingly being replaced by the scent of the Pacific Ocean that we both gasped at the same instant, smiling at the knowledge of what was up ahead...Our reward, 4.25 miles later.
My best guy friend sent me the most thoughtful birthday gift this year. As a "thank you" to him I brought the gift along on my hike to photograph--it's symbolism immediately brought tears to my eyes when I opened the package (I understood instantly what he was telling me). Even on my rainy days, he wants me to see blue skies up ahead. A gift for an eternal optimist :) Learning he thinks I have a great outlook and perspective was so humbling. I love this gift and I love you, dear friend. Thank you for being such a wonderful and deeply valued part of my life.
Metaphysical guru Louise Hay teaches an exercise on embracing life that includes the act of standing, once a day, with your arms outstretched while saying "I am open and receptive to all good. Thank you, life!". As she tells her students, life will hear you...and respond. Corny as it may seem, I couldn't resist the chance to thank life, God, the Universe at the top of the bluff. The immensity of the sea always has a way of snapping me back to reality; of reminding me that while my small corner of the world is a fortunate and blessed one, it is also a single life in an ocean of billions. There is no need to fear--cast out your worries, be open and welcoming to all good.
I also couldn't resist humming a few lines of my current go-to summer song, "Knee Deep" by Zac Brown Band ft. Jimmy Buffet.
"This champagne shore washing over me
It’s a sweet sweet life living by the salty sea
One day you could be as lost as me
Change you’re geography
Maybe you might be
Knee deep in the water somewhere
Got the blue sky breeze blowing wind through my hair
Only worry in the world is the tide gonna reach my chair
Sunrise there’s a fire in the sky
Never been so happy
Never felt so high
And I think I might have found me my own kind of paradise
Come on in the water it’s nice
Find yourself a little slice
Grab a backpack of lies
You never know until you try
When you lose yourself
You find the key to paradise.."
Hipstamatic made an appearance, too :)
8.5 miles of soul quenching, limbs stretching, lung filling, skin kissing California beauty was the perfect way to spend my Sunday.