I myself have spent the last 13 years hovering in the clouds. Living at high elevation seemed to be my calling. Actually it has been my passion for small mountain life and the snowboarding that comes every winter. I recently saw a bumper sticker in my town of Mammoth Lakes that simply red “My life is your vacation: Mammoth Local”. It Couldn’t be better said than this. Can you imagine living in a town where everyone knows you? The checkers at the super market call you by your first name. I see my friends daily whether they are strolling down the the “main drag” in town or pull up next to me in our “four light” town. Four traffic lights! That’s right…four, Quattro. But of course with any good comes the not-so-good.
Get pulled over and everyone knows. Get injured or seriously ill, everyone knows. Marital problems, everyone’s a therapist. Kid on drugs, you’re totally screwed. Go to 12 step meetings…well, that could go either way I suppose. My point is that choosing a life of intimacy in a small town has been part of my life, our lives, and the only life Sophia has known for her duration of eighteen months. Change is coming.
Through life’s circumstances my family and I will soon find ourselves in the clutches of another small town surrounded by another small town and so on and so on. Life in San Clemente, California. How can a town call themselves “small” when it is surrounded by a megalopolis? What am I going to do? Will I succeed at the supermarket without my comrade checkers? Can I be one among many? Or just another drone navigating through the maze of streets and crowds of people? There are more traffic lights in one mile where we are going than our current whole town has total! Imagine going into a DMV and by the time you enter the building to the time that all your business needs have been met and your exiting the building a total of six minutes has passed! “What!” You say? True event I swear! From now on the DMV is going to be an excursion. A “did I bring enough water and sunblock?” kinda excursion.
But there’s the beach. If I had my way I would never leave the sand. If there is any other entity that whispers in my ear when I’m stressed it’s the beach. As soon as I set foot on the sand from what will be for me a short WALK, my shoulders let down, an enormous sense of being one with our maker, gratitude and spirituality seem to wrap their arms around me. All the people, the unknown checkers, the hellish lines at the DMV and even the miles of maddening traffic lights slip away. I am focused on the surf, the sounds, the seagulls and the smell of salt water.
The times we’ve taken little Sophia to the beach she also seems to have been given the gift that the beach seems to give. She absolutely loves the water! What kid doesn’t love the beach? I just simply want the best for Sophie and my other children and especially my wife Kelly who I adore. She grew up just a mile or two from where we will call home. Her mom (Sophia’s Grandma) is on the beach just up the road and is simply an amazing woman.
So I find myself at odds. Those odds being, “What type of surfboard do I want and which spot is breaking killer right now?” Tough life huh? I have an idea that seems genius. The first time I venture into the check stand I’ll introduce myself to the checker, tell him or her I just moved here, start up a little conversation and I’ll continue this until one day he or she will see me at the line, “what up Brett? How’s little Sophie?”.
And (I’ve been told) all the nastiness of a day at the DMV can simply be avoided by using the tool that I’m writing this with. The traffic lights and crowds are daunting, but we are all just people, we all have something to give, to share in the life experience’s we all hold inside our beautiful minds. We are all of the same race, the human race. I will try to make someone’s life a little bit better each day and in turn I get dividends that are unimaginable.
After all, life is about change and our adaptation to it. At times I’ve said that there are two things I hate, change and the way things currently are. The exception to the rule of course is my beautiful wife and our family and of course our ability to adapt to change.
So from pine trees to sand and sea, I say… no, WE say: Bring it on! Life’s a journey with no real destination. It’s the journey I don’t want to miss, but I suppose my next writing will come while I’m sitting at the beach, loving my children, loving my wife and simply loving my life.