Pt. Reyes, California: The power of the natural landscape

Arriving, I remember everything exactly as it was – the sights, sounds and smells of a place I have often visited in my memory these past 37 years.  White Calla Lilies tucked among the wild grasses alongside Stinson Beach in winter, hawks kiting into the wind, wings outstretched, suspended above the surf.  Fog, guardian of seaside mysteries, shroud for molting Eucalyptus, billowing a warning to stay off the winding mountain road, yet beckoning one onward.  Sunglasses lightly misting over with sea spray, ears cooled by the coastal wind, dry lips salted and licked.  Sea foam and kelp bulbs, children giggling and dogs digging, and cold wet sand rising up through painted red toes. On leaving, my need to remember certain sensations and vistas verges on desperate.  The last bit of sun faded by haze as it slips beneath the horizon.  The last bit of warmth on my skin before goose bumps rise.  The last turnout at which to contemplate staying forever.  The last lone cyclist hugging the cliff’s edge, as reluctant as I to turn his back to the sea and head for home at the end of the day. I do not have the ability to say goodbye, I never have, to any person or any place, really, but particularly to landscapes in which I’ve lived.  Scattered traces of my soul linger like ghosts across the countryside, over the sagebrush strewn deserts of Northern New Mexico where I grew up, in the valleys and ridges of the Shenandoah Valley where my husband and I have a home, in Kentucky where I too have soared like a hawk, the wings of my small plane outstretched and kiting into the wind, in the Po River Valley of my father’s agrarian ancestors, and in New York City, where I have lived for… Continue reading Pt. Reyes, California: The power of the natural landscape