Finding My Happy Place

It's true that the Hudson Valley is my happy place now, but it wasn't always that way. There was a time when I thought I had to leave to find it, so I spent some wonderful years exploring the Southern California coast in a place called San Diego. I made great friends, became entrenched in beautiful scenery and deepened a love for myself that had been a long time coming. I wrote whenever the mood struck in meaningful and image rich lines that mirrored a full and vibrant life I was experiencing. I knew I was destined to come home and when I did, the idea of living each day contained a new meaning I was determined to fulfill. Here is one of my favorite pieces from that wonderful time. It is the perfect place to visit on a snowy day such as this..

The ocean waves are magnificent. As I stare amazed for the hundredth day out at this vast wonderland it's each time as though my first. The powerful undulation mystifies me and lulls the preoccupations of the day. The gentle wind flows through me and releases my inhibitions - draining them calmly from my fingertips melting them into the blanket of sand beneath me. Slowly, I unwrap the layers of solemn contemplation that clung to me in the frigid tundra of cascading winters

The sun dances off the water as it begins its fall out of another day old sky. Breathing in the sweetness of the subtle, salty sea air - light and wistful unlike any i've known before it - I am lifted by this paradise to a place where no hand has ever laid fingers. I am surrounded by faces: tourists, surfers, dogs, couples - all watching the orange glow of the horizon swallow up the light and sink it into midnight blue waters. This collision of heaven and earth meets quietly along a brassy lit shore. The tide washes in over fantastic castles who's walls echo briefly with the sound of carefree laughter. The kingdoms that small hands have built, conquered and abandoned all in a single afternoon.

In one swift movement the same waves that toss the thrill seekers from their pink surf boards infiltrate the hearts of the hopeless romantics hand in hand on the shore line. I need no companionship besides the epic poem before me. I see no greater purpose than this, exactly. 

The soldiers armed in black rubbery suits battle diligently their occupation for last-man-standing as they linger through the amber hum of sun down, unphased by the chill of evening whose rapture has taken hostage the warmth from the sand and set my fingers and toes into an icy fate. 

This is what I came for.

As the pink pastel splashes across the far corners where the boundless ocean meets the endless sky, the brief canvas fades slowly - still glowing subtly - along the wet glistening shore. Nothing has ever been quite this beautiful and nothing ever will again. This is truth, as right as the exception for every rule. The odds are in favor of this triumphant spirit - that it shall return lustfully at day break. 

No camera ever captured the phenomenal glory of a true ocean sunset and none ever will. The beauty lies mostly in the tranquil motion - the patient flow of a world turning itself over with sweet release. I stay long into the faded grandeur, watching as the porch lights begin to illuminate the hillside. I pull my towel in tighter, ignoring the shiver that accompanies me on this watchtower. Five more minutes, I decide as the last surfer climbs the stairs to the concrete society that awaits us both. 

Because, it is far too beautiful to abandon.

Last week my Mom bravely dropped off my sister, the youngest of three at her destination college in Florida. I know this was hard for both of them, the sending off and letting go. But I remember it well, and all that came from the journey itself. In this and all things I wish you a safe and wonderful adventure! - Stefanie Pearl