There is nothing like a slow Friday that feels like a Saturday that one almost forgets that it’s actually a Friday. I love Fridays like this. It’s like two Saturdays in a row! Last Friday definitely felt like this too, yet instead of it starting slowly with the extra hours under the warm blanket, it started before dawn. As the beautiful morning sun rose above the silhouette of the city, I was on the road with my sister and two other friends. Watching the sun rise as a large orange hot air balloon above the downtown in my rear view mirror, was spectacular. (I love hot air balloons, I think the French are great at coming up with romantic things). A familiar road lay ahead of us. The closer we got to the coast and to our destination the more familiar the road became. Yes, I was just here four days ago. It felt almost like yesterday that we took the same road to our retreat. We passed the turn to Bodega Highway, and all the memories flooded over me like sea waves.
I love coming back to the same places. Even though I know that I can’t relive the same moments or have the same people near me, yet places where memories happen, almost as if hold a spell over me, and allow me to travel back to the precious minutes. I shared some stories from the past weekend with my passengers, memories that happened on the same highway and could not be more excited about our trip. As we pulled to Carmet Beach where we took a group photo with large wording “By this we know Christ,” the retreat came alive once again. One thing though, was exceptionally different about the day, something that wasn’t present the first time. The beautiful warm weather. I couldn’t hold in the excitement about it as we descended the familiar stepped path to the sandy shore. Not even a breeze passed through my hair. Silence swayed over the shore illuminated by the warm sun with only ocean waves softly breaking the stillness in the air. I don’t remember ever enjoying such comfort by the ocean and was overwhelmed by a desire to spend the rest of the day there, if not a week. “Starfish!” one of my friends’ voice broke the silence. I have never seen a real one before, but the more time we spent at the beach the more of them we discovered. I asked my friend if she thought about switching her career, after she untiringly found starfish and different colored rocks and almost ventured into climbing the tallest rock on the oceanscape.
We drove on further and only in about twenty miles reached Fort Ross. Little did I know how close we were to it the last time I was here. The same beauty awaited us by this oceanside as well. Delighting in the weather my sister spent most of the time on the bench inside the inner courtyard of the fort. Maybe if I didn’t have my camera I would do the same. Walking down to the cliff that rose above the water, we rested by some rocks overlooking the waterline. Ahhh, to just relive the beauty of that moment. Reveling in the glorious weather, we set there in silence, enjoying every minute. The scenery around the fort reminded me very much of the nature in Anne of Green Gables. Small white house stood in the distance with a canopy of beautiful yellow flowers spread just in front of it. Deep forest rose just above it in the distance, while in the foreground tall green grass covered the hills descending down to the water. It very much felt like a fairy tale. With another stop now at Portuguese Beach, I once again reaffirmed my love for the coast, with its beauty and variety all along the California coastline. I should come here more often, it truly is captivating.
Some from Carmet Beach
I love this photo of me and my sister! We barely have photos together.
This photo reminds me of an early nineteenth century photograph of Russian pilgrims on the Ascent of Adummim in the Judean Wilderness, walking to the Jordan River. Most of my readers just went blank at this moment. Sorry, I just love old photographs of Israel and after my last two jobs I have them captured in my brain.
The beautiful shoreline just below Fort Ross
My friend Natalie from Germany