“Why did you move to NORCAL”, they ask.

Rain fell on the RAV as I drove across East Bay, over the Bay Bridge and south, towards the highway which would take me to the coast.  At a certain point, the route empties onto the coastal highway.  Then I take a turn, at Pacifica, and she spreads out before my eager eyes: the mother sea, my Pacific.

Why did you move to Northern California, they ask me, one after another.  This is why, this, the call of the sea.  Her voice, the unending balance of her energy, the waves as they fall to the shore.  Though I live in the Delta, I can be here in two hours.  Just a morning’s drive, and I am in her embrace.

I lunch with Kristin Hewett at the Miramar in Half Moon Bay.  They have a vegetarian menu, I’m happy to see, but I’m not here for the food.  I’m here for Kristin’s broad smile, and the beautiful bracelets which she gives me even though I had no idea that she intended to do so.  We met a couple of years ago at the shop which she had on Main Street.  We have not lost touch; and she knows me well.  One wrist now holds a band of Amazite; the other, a strand of a healing stone but I’ve forgotten its name; I’ll have to ask her again.  They clatter against the laptop as I write.

A host of people with the common interest of their Muslim faith occupies most of the hostel tonight.  They murmur in quiet voices which I can hear from the next kitchen.  They came down to the point as I sat reading, and I watched as they took a group photo.  The women stood on the left, wrapped in their lovely veils.  The men grinned broadly from the right.  The ocean rose behind them.  One of the group stood on a wall to take a photo, then turned and held his camera high to snap a shot with his face in the foreground.  I’ve been smiling ever since; and now I find the rhythm of their conversation quite comforting.

In a little while, I’ll eat the leftovers which I brought from Half Moon Bay; or perhaps I will just have a few dates.  I’ve made a cup of coffee.  My various electronic devices sit beside me, charging, ready to take a video, or a photo, or yield a text.  I will leave them all on my bed and walk down to the point, wrapped in my shawl, and watch the sun set.

It’s evening, on the fourteenth day of the fifty-first month of My Year Without Complaining.  From Point Montara, I bid you peace.  Life continues.

The view from the window of the purple kitchen at HI – Point Montara.

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