Carmel River State Beach is often the scene of sandy weddings during the summer months. I took this shot a year ago and only enlarged it today. Some suitor had spelled out “Marry Me” with driftwood. I can’t make out the name. Did they? Regardless, it was a good use of natural resources.
Day Two of the new year: I drive downtown–errands. The satellite radio blares Van Morrison’s “Domino” and for a few seconds I’m on the New Jersey Turnpike in 1971 when “Domino” was at the top and I was doing 70 mph with $1,300 in cash on the passenger seat, thank you for your service money from the U.S. Army. But this is Sacramento, 46 years later, where people are lined up to buy pot. With dead Santas in front yards and Christmas trees in the gutter, the holidays are over. It hasn’t rained in weeks but it may in a few days. Schools are still closed. The Mega Millions drawing is tonight–Power Ball tomorrow. “Lady Bird” may play all year at the Tower. A series of red lights and stop signs can’t break the cadence–it’s good to be alive no matter where. At the Coop and its adventurous parking lot, I buy ten gallons of water. In line at the bank I hear two people say they spent too much for Christmas. I want to go home and walk the dog–they never complain.
The setting for this path in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco is deceiving. The log steps are too far apart to accommodate the stride of a normal person. A seven-footer might be able to negotiate them, but the rest of us will have our feet sink into redwood chips, accentuating the long reach to the next log. Much of life can be like this path–seemingly simple tasks are fraught with unexpected setbacks. For example, I was making a seven-foot high quilt ladder this week. I was about to secure the last rung with a nail gun when I hit a knot that sent the nail sideways. Two subsequent attempts met with the same fate. This craft project, made with $6 worth of materials, was almost completed in record time, instead, it had become a cheap wood disaster. Fortunately, it was only a hobby experience.
Every tunnel needs a light at the end, the way out. We aren’t designed to live in darkness, so we thirst for signs that will show us how to illuminate our lives. Yesterday the pastor in Sutherland Springs, Texas asked the community to choose light over darkness in the aftermath of a devil’s massacre. The choice, if that’s what it is, may be a moment of pure symbolism that doesn’t alter the fact that you should look both ways before crossing the street. The alternative, to live with hate and revenge, is a darkness that drapes any horrific act of killing. We really have no choice but to go towards the light, the way out.
Today is Veteran’s Day n the U.S.A. I’m a veteran as is my brother as well as our parents, both deceased, who fought in WWII. Dad was a squadron leader and navigator on a B-17, the Windy Lou, while mom, a nurse, took care of the wounded. I think of my parents today and the long years of sacrifices they made while in uniform. My parents rarely discussed the war when I was growing up and when they did, the conversation was masked with words about bad food and shore leave. Some of the horrors they experienced weren’t revealed to me until I was an adult–like short bursts of gunfire, the graphic accounts were stated quickly, then left to echo in my memory.
I like the curve of land and water called Whalers Cove at Point Lobos. There are wooden benches by the trail where you can sit and watch the tide roll in. I’ve been here many times and noticed that people don’t stay seated for very long. I’m guilty of the same behavior. I’d like to get to the point where I don’t think about how long I’ve been sitting.