Today is the day.
The third tickling session in order to coax him awake.
They start asking about the length of time we’ll be in the car. I don’t want to tell them the truth. I give them vague answers like “It will take some time. It won’t feel too long. We’re breaking it up.”
The temperature drops 6 degrees as we enter Bodega Bay. No one is hungry like we thought they would be so we get back in the car for another long leg.
He pulls over at a turn about. Her iced chai turns over. Only three of us get out to look at the ocean. The fog is beginning to recede. Waves with white caps. The sounds of cars passing by.
Gualala. I’ve never heard of this town but Upper Crust Pizza gets 4.7 stars so we stop there for lunch. The owner tells us to just settle the tab when we’re all done. Small town things. The couple at the high top beside us is from Wisconsin. I could live here.
They warned us that it might still be foggy in Point Arena. I still want to go to the lighthouse. I’ve never been to one. I say that if I had an official bucket list, I think going inside of a lighthouse would be on the list. Today, I’m checking it off.
My thighs are burning.
Mountain View Road is not as scary as they made it seem though 22 miles of those twists and turns do a doozy on the stomach before it dumps you out into Booneville.
Not even here for an hour and I’m already planning a new retreat.
1. I wake up a little later than I intended to but the light is just now starting to come into the room.
2. They’re FaceTime-ing me at 6:30am. Time zones. They are in the car and on their way to school.
3. I take my time getting ready. The light from the skylight in the bathroom makes me smile.
4. I grab a big mug, cream in color and speckled. Hot water for tea.
5. The three of us in the booth talking about the places in which we live, how motherhood changes you. How it changes everything.
6. So much sun.
7. I find a Target to get some shoes for the shower. And a few bananas in case I get hungry before bed.
8. It’s so warm I’m sweating as I roll my bag to the room.
9. I write that I’m very teary today. Crying about almost everything.
10. We hold hands because we are braided together just like the challah we are about to partake of.
10.1 Byron introduces me to Parker Palmer before we sit down for dinner. And a young woman, Mariah, who happens to be a senior editor for the On Being blog joins us. And it is a lovely conversation and I tear up talking about how overwhelmingly grateful I am.
10.2 I think there will be a lot of tears this weekend.
10.3 Krista Tippet and David Whyte.
1. It must be nerves. 4:30am.
2. This week my past has come to haunt me in my dreams. Maybe it’s just because I’ve been so anxious about the future.
3. The fog is back.
4. 5am run to the grocery store for all the travel-sized things I didn’t get yesterday. And for cereal and yogurt for them.
5. Still missing them even though they are breathing in the space above me. I understand what my mother meant when she told me that she didn’t recommend having children. Motherhood is the most beautiful and yet most heartbreaking work.
6. I make all of them give me a kiss before they get out of the car.
7. I keep walking from room to room with nothing in my hands.
8. I tell him that one day I hope to not want to throw up every time I’m on my way to the airport.
9. But I know this airport and I know how to get to the rental car thingy.
10. I am here.
I don't want to claim the title "Lifestyle Blogger." It doesn't feel natural on my tongue. Instead, I'm going to call myself a "Collector of Beauty." Yes. A Collector of Beauty. This rephrasing gives me the space to do what I do best which is notice. Really, isn't that what a writer and a photographer should be doing? Noticing?
There's this really fine and faint line between capturing life and noticing it. One can become so consumed with trying to find what they should capture that they miss the real beauty of what's occurring around them. It's why I rarely photography my food before eating it. I want to eat my gnocchi with black truffle shavings while it's still hot. And I want to drink my rosé while it still has its chill. Instead of trying to find the highlights and shadows in the barrel room, I want to listen to her tell me about the fermentation experiments she's conducting. And when I meet her for coffee on Washington Street, instead of thinking about the Instagram-worthiness of the courtyard, I'd rather listen to her tell me about the one time the police got called while she was celebrating her birthday.
Ultimately, I do believe that it's my desire to be so fully present in my life that gives me the ability to see the truly extraordinary moments that exist in the every day. I have to somehow trust that the most important moments will find their way into the little crevices of memory for when I need them most. Because this life is really too good and too big for the viewfinder.
Alas, here are some of the moments that I collected during my most recent trip to Yountville in August.
I don't always do a good job of explaining why I've become so attached to northern California. I mean, it's beautiful. Beyond beautiful, really. The air is clean and fresh. The color of the tomatoes brings tears to my eyes. I remember the one time, while walking down the street in St. Helena, how an orange rolled under the car. And I remember the way the soles of my converse conversed with the fallen olives, soft and hard.
California is where everything within me stills and the only voice I can here is my own. The only breath I'm aware of is my own. There is space for me there. Perhaps it's because I spend most of my time in the shadow of the mountains, deep in the valley, in awe of the way the sun rises and sets against the mountain peaks.
And so I share with you just a few of my moments from this past March, when the air was both warm and cool and the wild mustard bent in the breeze.