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.
Nancy from Fair Oaks, CA says
My 30-year old self usually gives me the best memories so I do give in now and then (especially after a couple glasses of good wine). I love your ocean photos and I am lucky to live not too far from the Pacific Ocean and try not to ever take it for granted.
These photographs are simply stunning. It’s so true about November in Cali, every time I think I can’t take another year of 100 degrees in October, along comes November and her lovely lovely light. You’ve captured it so well!
You have one of those 30-year-old selves, too? Mine is always pushing Oreos, beer and big red chewing gum.
thank you. thank you for taking my soul for a much needed visual vacation. you are glorious. grateful for your presence, art, and wit mi amiga. have a familia-rich and blessed-ful thanksgiving.
susan w says
It is genuinely extraordinary how you keep topping yourself. You post an exquisite collection of images and thoughts and the you do it again and they are even better. There is no limit at all.
I spent most of my life in So. CA (San Diego area) Went to college in Northern Calif.)Being next to the ocean is the thing I miss most now that I live in the desert/intermountain west.
I’ve seen those same sights so many times in my life, yet never tire of looking at sunsets over water. It’s soul medicine!
Susie LaFond says
I wish with all my being that I was there right now, sitting beside you and drinking in everything with my eyes, my soul and my heart. I don’t think I could leave. When I visit the shores of Lake Superior I feel the same way, not wanting to take my eyes off the lake, not wanting to leave that sweet sound of water lapping at the shore and when it’s windy, waves tumble to shore and crash, to me that is a lullaby. Your photos capture it all so well, through your eyes and words it’s all right here for me to enjoy. Thank you a bazillion times over you are simply ‘the best’
Linda Watson says
Welcome home! Do you ever want to just pick up and move up to that area? I do. I was lucky enough to go to Pacifica Grad Institute, in the foothills. Three years I got to be there once a month. It’s my fantasy place ever since.
Your photography, and your writing, transport me.
Your photos are pure magic!!
A little dose of serenity and sunshine. A very good thing on a cold day that will be very busy. I am glad that you were there
Janet Ghio says
Beautiful photos and words.
Holly Hudson says
those sunset photos and journaling are precious…..
what an adorable beach cottage….
Thanks so very much, so pretty to see early in the am…
Vicki in Michigan says
Wow. Gorgeous. Thank you for sharing sunset with us. I raise my cup of pomegranate tea to you!
Sally Edmonds says
Dearest Mary Ann,
I was so sorry to read about your mom. It is so hard for our generation in a way. Our parents are living longer (a good thing) but our parents are living longer (which can be so hard and sad and heartbreaking). You have provided so much joy for me over the years. I look forward to and read your posts with great anticipation. I have travelled the world vicariously through you. Thanks for all that you share. At times I feel that we were separated at birth. I identify with your insights so much! I wish you only the best.
Sally in Stockton
Glenda Hoagland says
seeing the california coast through your eyes makes me want to explore them. Someday….
Come back soon, the coast will miss your adoration. xoxo