But somehow in all those wanderings, we never found the Big Sur coast. It was always skipped in favor of a faster route that would take us further. This weekend certainly changed all that. And now we know what the writers and artists are all enamoured of....what the magic of that place feels like.
It was one of those rare Flow experiences, where very little was planned but everything fell into its right place without effort. The moments of the day felt meant to be from my lovely meet up with Natalie Chanin in Berkeley to the wild storm we brought home on Sunday.
I will have to write more about the Chanin trunk show later, for now sufficed to say Natalie is one of the most gracious and lovely souls I have ever met and we chatted about small children, stitching, coast roads and 100 foot vaginas.
Her slow Southern soft drawl just about slayed me. I spent an hour or so literally fondling the heaps of samples books, marveling at the precision and beauty on display. It was hard to leave but I am now resolved to spending a week in Alabama at one of her longer classes...damn the cost.
Then we headed out from Berkeley in the lovely afternoon sun, beating most of the weekend traffic and ended up in Monterey, smack dab in the middle of the city at a public campsite surrounded by trees, providing of hot showers and a raccoon visit or two. We made it to a fantastic beach with 30 minutes to spare before the sun dipped down to meet the ocean. Back in our former life we were sunset chasers, always searching for that special light that happens as we go into the gloaming of the night. Friday it just presented itself and we happily stayed on the beach shooting in the cold air until the light failed.
Saturday we headed into Carmel with the intent of shooting the mission Carmel before heading south to Big Sur but we found ourselves with over an hour until the Mission doors opened. Signs on the small streets led us to estate/garage sales where we kept running into treasure after treasure :: phones and steins and free pristine cigar boxes and creepy Jack in the Boxes. After collecting as much as we could with the meager cash at hand, we headed into the Mission.
There is a set up here in Flickr if that sort of stuff interests you.
I could walk around a Mission all day and find cracks and crevices to shoot. It was quiet and we were able to play with the rented lens to heart's content...half the shots are Tim's but I never take the time to give the credit. If it is really good, it is his. See?
The rest of the day was spent on the coast...finding spots to stop and rest from the relentlessly winding road, finding moments to catch and hold. We rarely went far from the car as many hikes are closed due to fire damage, but we found enough. I have never declared myself an ocean person but how I love this ocean, this coast. I could feel a rich wild contentment seep into my bones as we walked on the coast, watched the grey and brilliant blue green meld and reform, listened to water rush.
And in all these moments of Flow I had time to look to this man, the partner that once wandered and then settled in with me, and that was a good good thing.
It has been a rough few months in the background and this was a balm and a gift. Far from romantic...no honeymoon suite just sleeping in the back of the Subaru in a campground with hot showers. But that is how we do it...always have and probably always will. God, what a great man.
Now, of course, we are back home...home made all the sweeter and lovely and special for the having been away. It was oddly comforting to know we can still find that Flow, that place where we two fill it completely enough, that the children we have made have not created a void between, rather enriched the fabric of our lives. And upon return, finding a pair of boys excited that we had come back, chattering non stop about their weekend adventures and wondering heavily about ours.
Next month we are leaving for a month on the road....a different experience, I know. The pair of soon to be three year olds will guarantee a different trip...but I cannot wait. And I am hoping the Flow finds us somewhere along the road for that trip. Please god.
Full Big Sur set here.
And yes, we are ridiculous. And no, we were not drunk. Just giddy on kid-less-ness.