i left my seaside retreat after a cup of coffee and a round of the original velvet teddy bear – teddy pendergrass on the porch. then drove home in the late morning. at first beside the dazzling pacific then down smaller roads through orange groves and pumpkin fields.
surely there is no more beautiful time to be on the california coast than late november. the air is crystalline. the islands loom large and sharp 20 miles offshore. santa cruz so clear that the blonde cliffs are visible. every ridge and crest outlined in startling clarity. santa rosa lurking behind santa cruz. they look like one, but no, closer examination reveals a separateness. i sat on the porch for hours with my binoculars studying the ocean's ripples and currents. the distant island mountains. squadrons of pelicans. a sailboat. my eyes alert and focused on any movement in the water.
the golden hour arrives.
pouring honey over every surface.
anacapa off in the distance. all 3 of her islets visible, but beginning to smudge as the light leans towards blue.
even the power lines and oil platforms do not sully the scene. it is beautifully imperfect.
you inhale all this gold and want to fly towards that light. understanding now why icarus flew too close to the sun. it all makes sense.
the show goes on and on. every 5 minutes new colors appear. blue becomes violet becomes red.
my 30-year-old self wanted my 50-year-old self to pour a glass of whiskey and reach for a cigarette. but i made a cup of pomegranate tea instead.