I saw the sunset on the ocean yesterday. Pastel silhouettes of picturesque little clouds backlit by the orange disc, the flat line of the horizon rising slowly up to eclipse the little scene.
Caroline and I sat in the car along the Torrey Pines beachfront, renegades crossing the line of barricades and road cones to take a few minutes solace just drinking in the seascape and sky. 50 yards down the beach, the pickup truck labeled “fire department” stood sentry against would-be intruders like ourselves.
Caroline had arrived in the late afternoon, pronouncing what a beautiful day and how nice it might be to watch the sunset. Her encouraging words struck a chord and after completing a little more work on the MettaCare project, we rallied to the car for a little holiday drive north up the coast.
The roads seemed oddly familiar, yet barren in the midst of what was once gridlock rush-hour. We used the spacious occasion to introduce Caroline further to the nuances of autonomous vehicle operation. We had fun instructing the car to change lanes and reduce and increase speed, while Caroline giggled gleefully with the occasional shriek at the novelty of the whole thing.
As we neared the coast, we left the freeway in favor of the Highway one and the more intimate spaces of coastal Del Mar, Solana Beach, Cardiff by the Sea, Encinitas, and Leucadia. Here there was more people watching to be done, taking in the various responses to the weird world of the moment.
A small black Mazda Miata convertible with racing stripes running up the middle and the license plate reading “PepeLPu” had been pacing us on the freeway and remained our companion nearly all the way up the coastal Drive until we turned around just shy of Carlsbad. The driver, with white hair and white beard and protective mask around his neck and the woman passenger companion appeared to be sharing our idea of a little micro escape through the world.
The world has changed in the months since I last ventured out. Old ocean view parking spots have been paved over and replaced with sidewalks. Once familiar restaurants, boarded up or shuttered while others seem to have adapted for the time to the takeout style of service.
All along, the beaches were barricaded from parking with folding horses and official vehicles. As the late afternoon turned to evening, the sky building anticipation with its promise of a magnificent summer sunset began to draw the familiar little crowds, now in various stages of social distancing, facemask, and seeming obliviousness.
Along the way, hunger stirred and I mused at the novelty of the idea of take-out pizza for dinner. Stopping in to an old favorite in Leucadia, we were surprised to find a 60 minute wait for takeout. Food at home instantly sounded better.
Pulling into the house just at dusk, both of us smiling and thanking one another for the outing, I was touched with the gratitude of just feeling the gift of that freedom of movement, friendship, and abundance of resource to make it all possible.
This morning Caitlin mentioned the lines of people waiting outside of the food bank. Now while the suffering and pain is acute, still I stand, eyes wet to face our long-standing opportunities to meet these inequities and unfortunate travesty with resolution. We can end hunger. We can end war. We can end pollution. We may even end the fear of death, though I think former three we may find more initially accessible.
These are natural phenomena, but they need not be our natural condition.
It’s hot out already today. The familiar clear blue skies of the San Diego summer morning, the crystal canopy to the green ground, not yet parched of its moisture by these inevitable succession of long dry days.
I’m going to go out into it next. Perhaps take a cup of coffee into the garden. I still have much to work on here in the comfortable climate of the sunroom and will likely leave the house open to the summer air, but it is important to me to get out and feel the photons on my skin and commune a moment with the birds and plants and insects who are my brethren and whom I must not fail in my role as elder brother.
With luck I’ll get back to the article series on the Changing World Order as I’m quite curious to learn what I might as we pass together through these straits of confusion and concern.
So many perspectives to drink in, so little things such as time…
I’ll be focusing more today and tomorrow on getting the word out on my fundraising campaign, feel free to jump ahead and share in the process of solidarity and promotion! 🙂
God gets to know things, we just get to ask questions…