all week i look forward to returning to the mighty pacific. then at last, the weekend arrives. i set the alarm for 4 am friday night and am on the road before 5. takes me about 70 minutes if i don’t stop to use the bathroom. 80 if i do. yesterday when i arrived it was still dark. i could see orion flashing his belt at me and winking. not a soul around, but me. temperature was in the upper 50’s. i wore a light windbreaker and my hat. i always wear my hat.
after having mohs surgery to remove 2 sebaceous carcinomas from my cheek back in may, i am even more diligent about the hat. although sebaceous carcinoma is a rare type of skin cancer not caused by the sun, thanks to my dermatologist, i’m now a regular sunscreen user. other than looking like i’ve been in a knife fight, the 2 vertical scars on my left cheek are all that remain of the innocent looking tumors that grew there. if you have an occasionally bleeding pimple-like bump on your face or neck that doesn’t go away get it checked out. i did, strictly for cosmetic reasons, but turns out it was something serious. i waited till i was in the clear to write about it here on the blog.
i’m getting distracted. let’s go back to the seashore shall we?
i spent a few days in montecito recently. we had off the 30th for rosh hashana.
instead of driving home after 2 hours of walking and writing beachside, i was able to stay for 3 entire days.
that’s miramar beach above. as i walked, i fantasized about which house i would choose for my very own. i love the driftwood, fence, trees, and mountains in the background of this one. a small, simple cottage will do very nicely i think.
there were lots of clouds which made for pale shimmery sunrises.
honestly the beach at this time of morning is utter perfection.
like something j.m.w. turner might have painted at the isle of wight during the summer of 1827.
the air is fresh. the scent of salty ocean is intoxicating. the sound of water, divine.
i usually go for 2 beach strolls per day. one at dawn and one at sunset, but sometimes if the tide is low in the middle of the afternoon i go then.
i’m having weird color banding lately on some of my photos. you can see the green bands in the photo above. i don’t have time to find a solution so if you see the banding, know it’s not intentional.
what a pleasure to roam the beach at dawn. alone with my thoughts in the cool quiet of morning.
water, birds, sea grasses, kelp, shells, and stones.
these are the things i return to when working life gets tough. the ocean is a balm.
i am fortunate to have a nice group of kids this year. but no matter how nice, all the talking and being talked to is exhausting.
yesterday morning i walked and walked. the sand is like a cushion for my joints, especially my trick knee.
one day i will live close to these shores and will tumble out of bed, climb into my chariot and be here in minutes. maybe then i will make dawn drives to los angeles so i can walk at the huntington gardens before it opens. how odd and wonderful that will be.
yesterday, as i walked back up the hill to the top of the bluff, the sun rose. i sat on a picnic bench with my journal, coffee and binoculars. thought about what good therapy this is for me. how glad i am that i started doing these weekly drives.
i took some backroads home yesterday. through citrus groves and nut orchards. roadside farmstands selling strawberries, pumpkins, and avocados.
came home with 5 or 6 new shells and added them to last weeks bounty.
hope you’re well. hope you’re happy. doing things that please you. taking trips. staying put. reading books. making time for some creative work, however small. finding practices that keep you sane in a crazy world.
ON MY BOOKSHELF
the last 3 books are what i found when i did an internet search for “unputdownable books”.
my judgement may have become impaired now that i’m using my LA public library card to check out ebooks and read them on my kindle. oh the thrill of reading FREE books! look how quickly i can click the borrow button.
the only one of these that’s truly unputdownable is the first one and it’s a book-book. the oldie in the group. riveting. except i am putting it down to read the others while i contemplate the far future of our planet.
i’m enjoying hunger.
looker was a page-turner, but we’re not talking great literature here.
good as gone ding dong dumb, but i did see it through till the end.
as for novels, i’m currently on a fall of marigolds. the jury is out.