We are wandering across white sand dunes. Spearlike blades of tall grass whip around frantically as if fighting hidden opponents. Over white, windswept waves the horizon expands to where sea meets sky and it seems as if the curvature of the Earth can be seen.
We are spoiled for beauty. With every new area, region, and biome, it gets harder to explain the depth and grandeur we get to see weekly if not daily on this journey.
I don’t know if any of you are sick of hearing my numerous attempts to describe every amazing location we find ourselves at. The fact is I’ve run out of superlatives.
Recently in the heart of the redwoods of Humboldt, I overheard another camper lamenting their sudden loss of vocabulary. There were mutual chuckles while they described spending the day having said the same four phrases over and over again;
“Oh. My. God.”
“Look at that.”
“Jeeesus.” (Said with more drawn out vowel than I can transmit. Walk outside and slowly crane your neck up while saying the word, not releasing the final “s” until you’re nearly bent over backward. That’s pretty much the physical experience of viewing one of these Big. Damn. Trees.)
Another voice roared, “We also spent the day suddenly sounding religious!” There was loud laughter that suddenly cut off as if everyone realized there were in church.
I chuckled quietly from our campsite because it was so true. Of course for us, it’s not just about the journey through the ‘Avenue of the Giants.’ Our whole experience is work, struggle, doubt, and panic, punctuated with moments of either perfect beauty, epic landscapes, or things I can neither interpret or convey.
A feast for the eyes, heart, and mind, is the closest I can come.
Today we are at yet another stunning central coast beach. There is a marsh filled with tadpoles, lush green growth run riot along a stream, and a strong scent of brine where the freshwater meets the salt.
Small rickety planks leading down to the beach rest just barely atop the water. Our weight makes them creak and groan and I wonder about the horses I’ve seen headed down the path- surely they sink the boards under the water level? We nearly do. The dog shakes her paws at imagined water. Flooding must seem imminent at her eye level.
Once across, we throw her ball and off she runs, shying away from the speargrass’ pointed tips. Keeping her back to the wind as much as possible, she leaps and jumps, proudly mangling her prey while waiting for us to repeat the cycle. Her fuschia sweater and neon ball are impossibly bright against the sands, and as she races towards us, the wind threatens to topple us and blow her away.
It’s a good day.