Monday, February 23, 2009
Big Sur Day 2: Contentedness at Sand Dollar Beach
This morning I decided that today I would spend some time down the hill. Yesterday “book store monk” suggested I head south a few miles to Sand Dollar Beach. Before heading off I stopped into the Chapel for some meditation. The chapel is open 24 hours a day and is really cool. As you enter there is holy water at the door. You turn around the corner to an open area for you either to sit, kneel or sit on mats. It’s cold and dark but there is a feeling of holiness inside these walls.
After prayer time I got into my car and headed down the hill. Sand dollar beach was amazing. I was alone and had it all to myself, which would never happen in LA. I thought it was going to be cold on my trip so I packed a lot of warm clothes. I had to strip off my sweater and stick with my tank top today. Who would have thought I’d be coming home with a sunburn?
Sand Dollar beach has hundreds of rocks that the ocean has smoothed over. Up against the hillside there are caves that you can walk into that are filled with these pebbles. As you walk around inside they glitter like you’ve found a diamond mine. I think of how pressure has turned these rocks into something beautiful and I’m somehow comforted about life and the worries I brought with me here.
On my way back up to my car I stop at a look out point. It overlooks the ocean and the snowcapped mountains in the distance. I stop and read a sign about whale watching when I hear a voice say, “Did you see the snow on the mountains?” I look up to see Isaac. I don’t know him but I was about to.
Isaac is one of these people who even though you don’t know him, you feel like you do. You don’t feel any pressure about what to say or any uncomfortable silences. He tells me he is originally from Montana and that he moved to Santa Cruz for school where he majored in Marine Biology. He is out here with a group of people doing a study on sea otters. He didn’t get here in time and his team was out so he was just roaming about now. We talked for a good while and then we headed to our cars that were parked in a picnic area. A nearby family is having a picnic and I notice a car that looks similar to the Scooby-doo van. “Is that your car?” I ask him. “Yeah, but it’s also my house.” He offers to make some tea and tells me how “this baby is fully loaded.” I decline the offer but we continue our conversation. He said that he lives in there and travels place to place. He comes and go’s as he likes and meets people. I tell him he sounds like Jack Kerouac. The biggest thing I notice about him is that he seems happy and very content. I think about how blessed we are with so many things and how often we are never happy nor content.
With the economical crisis that we’re all currently facing, it’s a scary time for all of us. I’m reminded today of Philippians 4:11-13:
“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”
Isaac and I exchange info and he tells me that sometimes it takes awhile for him to get to a computer but when he does, we'll be in contact.
After leaving the beach, I headed north and stopped at Lucia Lodge for dinner and back up to my patio to watch another amazing sunset.
There is a peace here that I can't explain. I feel like the most simple of things have something to teach me. Even a breeze can hit me a certain way and it's as if you feel God's power. I feel overwhelmed by the hugeness of God and his love for little ol me.