by cheri block
I blame my father Hugh for my inability to nap.
Keep your eyes open or you might miss something!
I am on a short two-day spring break from school, so why not take a drive with the dog, the camera, and big eyes?
As is my habit when I visit the Central Coast of California, I head up to the rookery to see the elephant seals. It’s March, so most of the big males have left for Alaska, vacating the beach so that this year’s progeny can…well…GROW. One male lounges in sedentary bliss.
Can you see him?
The action on the beach at Piedras Blancas rivals the energy in my junior high grammar class although upon closer inspection, I do see movement on the beach, a flipper flinging sand on an itch and a large nose nuzzling his sweetie.
My, Roxanne looks content next to Cyrano. With hot sand, the bellow of the Pacific, and enough fat to insulate her from all pain, she dreams of the upcoming northern cruise home. But no need to think about packing up yet. Stay with the day.
I head south, a homing pigeon in search of coffee.
Keep your eyes open, Cheri, or you might miss something, I say to myself and then remember my father’s eyebrows and rather large nose, a nose that I miss seeing.
There on the right, I see a vulture perched on a sign and pull over for a shot.
Imagine my wonder when I discover two birds, both taking time off from their jobs: providing road- kill custodial service on Highway One.
Up on a hill, in contrast to the simplicity and natural coastal environment, sits the historic Hearst Castle, a lavish Gatsby house donated to the State of California by the Hearst Corporation years ago.
The Hearst family still owns much of the land in the area. Oh, to be a Hearst horse.
Being a horse kept to carry cowboys and girls as they herd the Hearst cattle is good.
But being a head of Hearst cattle is not so good. Hearst beef is delicious, free-range, hormone and drug free. Even though I do not eat beef often, I make a note to stop by the butcher and buy a flank steak for tonight.
One more stop before coffee.
I walk over ice plant, new poppies, and dirt to the edge where land relinquishes its hold on the sea and look down into the water’s deepness and mystery.
Keep your eyes open, Cheri. You might miss something, a seagull calls to me, connecting us in one transcendental life.
But then I notice that the gorge looks like Texas and the spell is broken.
When I arrive home to my getaway place with my steaming latte and healthy carrot muffin, my dog greets me. We go out into the misty air and I set my camera down.
But then I see my succulent plant, radiant after last week’s rain.