I’m grown up enough to know there is no such thing as Paradise…but for me, however, there is. It’s a place called Coastal California. My daughter and I are spending a week and a half visiting the central coast of California and indulging in all the things that make us happy We just had green chile clam chowder, fresh fried tilapia tacos, a green salad with pistachios and a pitcher of Hefeweisse…all for the grand total of $45 including tip. This sumptuous meal was enjoyed at our favorite eatery in Santa Cruz…the Seabright Brewery. It was “neighborhood night” which means 1/2 price pitchers of beer and $2.50 fish tacos. It was especially crowded out on the patio where we like to sit to enjoy the fresh air because there was a big basketball game going on. A bit too many jocks for my taste, but everyone was very excited and happy.
We just returned tonight from a 2-day jaunt down the coast to Big Sur, where the landscape is majestic 24/7. Cars stop every 1/4 mile on the cliffs along the Pacific because the views are so spectacular. We only stopped a couple of times, being long-time visitors to this part of the world, but were still in awe of how spectacular the landscape here is. We encountered visitors from all over the world who’ve made the trip to see this very special place, just like us. After a short hike to see the picturesque McWay Waterfall, we hiked into the redwoods and followed a creek for about a mile. One hour in the redwoods can restore your peace of mind and remind you of how insignificant we humans really are. Today I kept running my hands over their bark in appreciation of their existence. Some of them are nearly 2000 years old.
We stopped en route to make a quick visit to the Henry Miller Library. Well, it’s really a glorified wooden shack, but lovingly maintained and holds a huge collection of Miller’s work as well as those of many of his contemporaries. In a few moments I will return to the book he wrote about his fifteen years of living in Big Sur, entitled Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch which is a rambling memoir, but I wish to close with a line from his book that he wrote about Big Sur: “…this is the face of the earth as the Creator intended it to look.”