Sometimes serenity isn’t in the wild places or the newly discovered ones. Sometimes you find it in the old familiar places. Sometimes you find it at home.
When I first moved to Santa Cruz from Boston, way back in 2000, this was the beach closest to my house. New Brighton became the place I could both lose myself and find myself as I figured out how to establish myself in a new job and a new life.
After a year and a half, I moved a mile south to a rental house, and Rio del Mar and Seacliff beaches became my home beaches. That concrete ship? I must have a hundred pictures of it taken over a decade of looking at it at sunrise, sunset, and all hours between.
Now I’m back for a month, and it feels like home.
I know just where to look at low tide to find sea glass and how the waves come in sets of seven. I know that if I time it right, I can get to that jumble of small rocks in the top photo, I just have to wait it out.
But things have changed in four years. New houses where vacant lots stood, the old sushi place gone, major construction in the village, My friends and I are four years older, hopefully wiser. Time marches on, and we try to keep up.
I don’t really have a brilliant ending here. So I’ll just share a picture of two of the big non-beach reasons it feels like home here. L and G always greet me with hugs and smiles and “come play with me” entreaties, and I love it. I love them.
It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. You realize what’s changed is you.
F. Scott Fitzgerald