At the start of this month, I had two days in Pacific Grove (b/w Monterey and Carmel) by myself. Alone. Say it with me: No kids. No distractions. Me… and my driver, Jesus. I tried to lose him a couple times. But He has this funny way of showing up next to me, scaring me half to death, like the times you think your big brother has left the room, and then he pops out of your closet and yells nothing in particular, just anything that scares the pants off you. So there I was on a bench, with Jesus, arguing with him that I wanted to be by myself. But He convinced me that I really didn’t want to be without Him. “Remember the times when you’ve tried that?” Well, I may be stubborn, but I’m no dummy and I remembered exactly what he was talking about. So we sat there together – at peace. And I wrote this:
The waves are crashing on the rocks in front of me and I am in such awe that it is hard to keep my head down to write. I want to capture this day. Put it in a box and open it when I need sunsine, inspiration, fullness. It’s 70 degrees and the waves provide a mighty percussion as they crash into – and onto – the rocks. Even the little parts of the tide pools trickle music as the water gets trapped for a moment between the bold formations. The seagulls are timid here, unlike the ones I find on the shores of Florida. The gulls there have been spoiled by little children feeding their greedy appetites. The birds here hunt like they were made to do. What a testimony to the people who live here. They keep the environment natural and protected.
An English woman, who nows makes this town her home, just stopped with her beautiful black Lab, who rubbed his body against my legs to show his love. I asked where she was from, originally, because of her accent. I tend to get South African accents mixed up with English or Australian. But it’s always worth a try if I can connect with a South African, and therefore, feel a connection to my college roommate Glynis from Durban, South Africa. She wasn’t from S.A. but asked where I was from and I told her. Then added that I was here for my childhood friend’s 40th. I asked her how to find surfers because my boys would love a picture of real-life surfers. She gave me some local tips and then added that she can’t go to this particular beach she recommended to me. “I love to let my dog run free on the beach now and then, but I can’t stand to do it there, because she’ll roll all over dead seal.” Mmm, yes, you wouldn’t want to deal with dead seal smell, I say. And I worry about our dog bringing in a dead mouse from the backyard. She waves goodbye and wishes me a nice paaaaty.
While this wasn’t necessarily a “soul conversation”, I tend to feel the same sort of blessing with these little connections. Like God gives me a deeper glimpse into himself when I interact with strangers. The time here on this craggy shoreline has been priceless. The solitude and the beauty, and even some love from a dog who likes dead seal.