I mentioned last week that we'd be taking some time off to slow things down a bit and enjoy the holidays. We're spending a few days at one of our favorite spots for doing that - California's Monterey peninsula.
I wasn't going to post from here, but I took some photos on the beach today that might give a sense of this place.
Where the sand and rocks of Asilomar meet the Pacific is one of the world's most famous beaches - not for swimming, or surfing, or bikini watching, but for something more primal than that - for slipping away for a while from everything that is manmade - from offices and cubicles, from traffic jams and oil changes, from computer viruses and reboots, from Big Macs and fries.
No photos can really capture the soul of this place. It's raw, pristine, and in some ways even violent. The surf doesn't kiss the shore, it attacks with brutal force. The ground shakes in places from the pounding. After a storm, the remains of birds and animals that weren't strong enough wash up on the beach. It's the rawness of the place, I think, that's humbling and cleansing.
You look into surf that was here millions of years before you and know that it will be here long after you.
I've been to a lot of beaches, but none of them seem to have the mystical attraction of this place. People drive up, get out of their cars, and just stare at the ocean for hours, as if at a religious shrine. It can be cold and windy, but people come here, bundled in parkas and wool caps, to walk in the sand or scramble on the rocks.
The birds and animals are here because this is where their food is. But why do we come to places like this? The answers may seem simple enough, but are they really?
Click on the photos for a closer look.