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Point Lobos on Christmas Eve Day, Part 1

The day before Christmas, we ventured out to explore Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. The ‘we’ I refer to was myself, Amira, Paul, my cousin Doug, Mom, Dad and Aunt Carol. Piled into two cars, we took the short pilgrimage from Monterey to the reserve. The skies were a flat gray and the wind was cool enough to warrant and make us grateful for cozy knit hats, bundling scarves and coats to hold warmth to our bodies.

We parked next to an inlet of water. Even though tossed about, the water was without white caps except where it met with rocks.  The skies were overcast in such a way that the water was a deeper, mysterious blue-green-grey.

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When Amira was younger, she hated getting wet. She would panic. We would always say, if her hair or clothes got wet, “It’ll dry. Don’t worry! It’ll dry.” She was never comforted.  I, on the other hand, have always been drawn to the water. It seemed so foreign to me that my daughter wouldn’t be as well.

Now, I’m finding she is more and more like me. If there is water, she is near its edge. She hears the same siren song as I do.  I always try to remember to celebrate our individual differences. That said, it means a lot to me that she understands the compelling language, love and healing solace that water is. She hears the water’s invitation as strongly as I do nowadays, and that makes me happy.

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Paul was particularly well dressed for our Point Lobos adventure. He, very much, looked the part of a ship’s captain only briefly on shore before heading out to explore the mysteries the seas hold . Well… except the Converse tennis shoes… which are conveniently hidden here.

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And not hidden here…

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Across the inlet and in the distance, there is a small shock of white in the landscape.  It’s San Carlos Borromeo del Rio Carmelo Mission.  Spanish explorers and missionaries arrived in the mid-1700′s. Established 1770, this was second mission built in California.

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At least three thousand years ago, significantly before the arrival of the Spanish, the Ohlone people had migrated and settled here.  Small tribes lived in permanent settlements in the area. I read online that 19 different sites have been discovered that show evidence of the Ohlone camp sites. I didn’t but would have enjoyed seeing them.

Especially when we climbed up the trails toward the Point, I felt the power of time and nature and the influence it has had on all the people who have lived and traveled through here. It could be said that it was imagined, but I felt the connection.

The farther up and in we went, the stronger the winds grew. Avoiding, what I’m sure were even stronger and more buffeting winds, the cormorants clung to the rock edges.

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This one caught my special attention as he was on his own, away from the larger gulp.

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A mesmerizing blue-green, the water crashed about between massive rock boulders. So startled by the color, I kept staring and commenting.  It felt either unreal or so, so very real… it was work to take it in.

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Below, that blur of black there, is a cormorant struggling against the wind. It was driven down into the water by the gusts. It finally made its way to the nook of a rock where it took safe refuge.

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The closer to the Point we got, the more intense the weather got. And simultaneously, the more intense my experience became…

As I am working on this, I’m realizing this is a two or three part blog post in the making. I can’t fit it all in one. This is not only because I have a slew more of photos to share, but also thoughts and reflections on my experience.

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I’ll hope you’ll come back for more soon…

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