The Question – Never To Be Answered

Often times during the many (let’s not count, shall we?) years that I have lived in California, I have had occasion to ask myself the following:

“California? You live in California? Why the [expletive deleted] do you live in California?”

Never is that question asked more strongly of myself than at the holidays.

When someone asks me what is my favorite time of year in New Mexico, I will respond “It’s a toss up between September, when the leaves are changing, and Christmas when New Mexico shines like a pinõn scented jewel.”

It turns out the holiday season is when I miss New Mexico the most. California feels too crowded, too stuffy, too something for me to really believe I live here.

Then I get into the spirit of the season and I find ways to make my corner of the world a little New Mexico. I bake biscochitos. I put my New Mexico ornaments on the tree. I remember my home state, and it’s ok.

That said, there are newer traditions too. California traditions that I have made that over time begin to also have meaning.

One of my favorites is to go to the ocean on nor near Christmas Day.

This began many years ago in the time before The Good Man. I believe that is referred to as the BTGM epoch.

One year in the age of BTGM, I was all alone on Christmas, and that was actually ok by me. Things were pretty good in my life, all in. I was a bit lonely but I was doing fine.

On Christmas Day, rather than sit home alone and sulk, I decided to go visit my favorite beach in my favorite coastside town of Half Moon Bay.

On that 25th day of December, while the world sang carols about letting it snow, I drove down California highway 92 and squinted into the clear bright sun.

That was one of the most beautiful, perfect days I can ever remember in Half Moon Bay. It was quiet, easy and not crowded.

I drove home from my day at the beach content and peaceful. The next day it started to rain and didn’t let up until, oh, about May. But the memory of the beautiful day lingered through the damp season.

This year I had the chance to do my new(ish) tradition again. The Good Man and I went to Half Moon Bay to celebrate a birthday with a family member. For her special day, she wanted to watch the sunset over the water, and we were all too happy to oblige.

The Good Man and I got there early, on purpose, so we could be calm for a while and watch the waves.

As I sat there in a nice comfy Adirondack chair, watching the world go by, this was my view:

Copyright 2013, Karen Fayeth

This is a fairly iconic view of Half Moon Bay, and my photo has done nothing different or special with it. But this is my photo. A memory of my day.

You’ll notice nary a cloud in the sky. I didn’t even need a jacket as the sea winds blew in. It was so calm and so peaceful and a perfect holiday day in California.

I disrupted The Good Man’s peace by declaring that, “I need to do a selfie!”

He grumbled about the state of the world and how you can’t just tell someone you went somewhere, oh no, you have to prove it by taking a self photo and…rabble rabble rabble….

That accounts for the sort of smirky face. He rabbled while I snapped:

Copyright 2013, Karen Fayeth

Then we had our late lunch and it was delicious and happy and we spoke of holiday things and laughed and it was my own version of joy to the world.

After we ate we went back outside to watch the sun set quietly over the ocean while a guy squeezed the life and song out of a bagpipe. That loud clear bagpipe and the rapidly setting California sun was almost dream quality, surreal but oh so real.

It looked like this:

Copyright 2013, Karen Fayeth

And as the sun sank below the horizon, I smiled. I thought about how beautiful that same sun must have looked earlier setting over the volcanoes in Albuquerque, casting a glow onto the Sandias.

I thought about home, but I also thought, “you know, this isn’t too bad either.”

Merry Christmas Eve, ya’ll.

May it simply be “not too bad” wherever you are today.

Photos Copyright 2013, Karen Fayeth, and subject to the Creative Commons in the right column of this page. Taken with an iPhone5 and the Camera+ app.

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