An evening spent at La Jolla Cove

Even though we weren’t done, MCASD La Jolla kicked us out for something as silly as closing time. Still being early evening, and far from ready to go back home, we made our way down through the neighborhood streets towards La Jolla Cove Beach.

The sun was warm and the breezes mild. We weren’t the only ones who thought this day was a good day to visit La Jolla. While there was a hub-bub, it wasn’t oppressive. I did have to time my photos, or choose my angles carefully to avoid including people in them. For example, there was a small cave between that jutting rock in the foreground and the hanging succulent flowers in the background. There, in that cave, was a small group enjoying that idyllic spot. Had they been friends, I would have happily included them in my photo. Instead, I chose my angle carefully. (see photo above)

The tide was coming in, so a lot of the beaches and rocky terrain was covered by surf. It has been many years since I’ve been to La Jolla. The landscape of the rocks and the beachfront seem different than I remember. I don’t know if it is simply due to the high tide, poor memory (cough, cough… it can’t be that!)… or due to the eroding nature of water on rocky shorelines.

These seagulls had a prime view of everything going on. Amira thought she would join them… until she got to the top and saw the condition of that plateau. Suddenly, she decided it was best left for the birds.

I’ve mentioned, many times, to Paul that I wonder how I didn’t have the eyes to see the beauty in San Diego when I lived here before. While hanging out watching the seals at the Children’s Pool, we met a woman who was on vacation. She grew up in San Diego and then went to college on the east coast. For the past 35 years or so, she’s lived on the east coast, overseas, and in Minneapolis. Recently, her and her husband decided they wanted to move back to San Diego. Apparently he wasn’t able to find a job here and instead found one in the Bay Area. They live there now but fervently wish they were here. I mentioned to her my observation about not being aware of the beauty I was surrounded with when I lived here as a teen, through college and then later in my late-20s. She sighed and said: “that the problem with growing up somewhere… you just don’t see what you have.”

I don’t know if I agree with her totally or not. If I was relying on my own experience alone, I might. However, Amira grew up in the PNW and she saw and knows the beauty she experienced while living there. She sees and is grateful for the beauty she sees here too. That said, she has a kind of awareness that I didn’t have until later on. My intent is that my awareness will continue to expand wherever I am. If my awareness, my eyes for beauty, begins to shrink… I hope those who know and love me will call me on it.

Speaking of Amira… look at her. Look at her over there all by herself. She’s taking in the world, thinking her own thoughts and seeing it all in her own unique way. She’s changed so much since we moved here. In 10 days, Amira and I will have been here one year. In less than a month, she will be finishing up the 3rd grade. She will have finished her first year outside of homeschooling. She takes these changes and challenges with such grace. When I think about who she was when we pulled into town and compare it to who she is now… I’m overwhelmed. My parents are coming to visit us in a couple of weeks. They haven’t seen her since September and I know just how much their heads will spin when they see how she has grown and changed.

I need to write more so I have more facility with words. I want to express just how grateful I am for life and those I share it with. I feel like I’ve used up all the usual words for expressing this the way I want to. I want some new, poetic terms and turn of phrases. I’ll keep practicing but until then, for today, I’ll borrow from Rumi: Every object, every being, is a jar full of delight.

and also a poem titled Mindful from Mary Oliver’s Why I Wake Early:

Every day
I see or hear
that more or less

kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle

in the haystack
of light.
It was what I was born for -
to look, to listen,

to lose myself
inside this soft world -
to instruct myself
over and over

in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant -
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help

but grow wise
with such teachings
as these -
the untrimmable light

of the world,
the ocean’s shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?

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