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daily fieldnotes » Relishing life
 
daily fieldnotes

Relishing life category archive

Magic Hour 9

Photographers call dusk the “magic hour”, as the light softens in a way that brings softness and dramatic contrast to the camera lens, and makes us all glow more beautifully.

Here, we walk on a beach just outside Marbella, on a mission to explore new places around this apartment JJ’s parents now have. The water of the Mediterranean felt warm against my bare feet, the sand soft against my toes. A little girl sat, looking into the distance, perhaps dreaming of where she’s from. Three small children dug in the sand, as excited about making a hole as most kids get about a new toy. And JJ and I strolled along, him avoiding rocks, me going up to my knees in the surf, almost losing a flip flop.

The magic hour, on this beach, this evening. In this life, right now.

Magic. Because it’s so soothing and relaxing, like spreading cool lotion on a sunburn, for JJ and I to spend time together, alone, for a couple of days here after three weeks with his parents.

But mostly, magic because I’m pregnant at last! Due in February! We are so, so thrilled. I can’t wait to share more.

Wandering Old Town Marbella 1

Wandering old town Marbella with the family last weekend, in search of charming alleys, gardens, and ice cream. Tomorrow, we head back to the coast for another 4 days, just the two of us this time.

Summer at Last 6

Two weeks into a month in Spain and I’m getting my fill of summer. Drinking in the sun and heat like a cat stretches into a slice of morning sunlight. A long weekend at the beach. Cold drinks and sand between my toes. Warm, heavy breezes that turn to passing rainstorms. Breakfast outside in the crisp morning breeze. Mornings in the air-conditioned library working on my thesis. Lunch with the family on the patio. Dinner outside with friends at tables in the plaza, then ice cream at midnight on the bridge over the river. Sleeping night after night with no covers, hot until the morning breeze sets in. Listening to the rise and fall of cicadas. Smelling jasmine and sunscreen and dry grass. Wearing flip-flops and sundresses every day.

Moving to a place with summer is becoming an obsession. Next year: breakfast or dinner on our own patio in July!

Spring on 24th St. 1

Fluffy, pink, clouds of petals blanket the trees in our neighborhood right now. On windy days there’s a carpet of petals below, light pink and fluffy like cotton candy. We woke up early Saturday morning after a late night with friends, walk down to 24th Street. Bought strawberries, artichokes, fresh bread,  and a fennel bulb at the Farmer’s Market. Got my favorite chips and yoghurts from the grocery store, morning buns from the neighborhood bakery. I handed the groceries to JJ, took pictures, trying to capture the candy pink, wild feeling of the trees juxtaposed against the meticulously painted Victorians, all brightly contrasted with an eggshell blue sky.

To be repeated.

Ripples, Sand, Mist 3

A Sunday walk at the beach. Blue sky, then swooping fog. Sand dollars on sand, white dotting brown. Dogs of all kinds. Walkers in sweatshirts and coats, hoods tucked against the wind. A little girl with a red shirt and long, blond hair, climbing a sandy cliff hand over foot like a monkey. Skateboards seen from below, skidding along a roadblock at the edge of the cliff. Water cold like snow, turning toes red. Sand pipers skittering along the shoreline, feet a blur like hummingbird wings. Deep breaths of salty air. A lone tree, high on the cliff.

Sand, Ocean, Rocks 1

Sand, pushing against my steady gait, filling my shoes, hiding the city behind with tall, grassy dunes.

Ocean, rolling waves toward the shore, carrying surfers and foam and piles of coiled, hairy seaweed.

Rocks, piled with sand dollars, funneling the quicksilver water and turning it to foam.

After years of living in SF, I’ve “discovered” the beach is right over the hill, a mere 15 minute drive. I will be back.

Fall Clouds 1

This week, sunny afternoons, moments out on the patio, feeling the sun warm my legs, listening to birds twitter in the redwoods. Seeing the first clouds in months, high in the sky. Thinking how until you live in a place where there’s fog, and you watch it burn off (or not) day after day, you don’t know the difference between fog and clouds.

Today, a lazy morning outside before driving south to see friends (me) and play soccer (JJ).  Hearing sea gulls in the distance, the grinding gears of a bus in the valley headed up the hill, the clank of tools in the construction next door. Smelling fresh air, and relishing in the feeling of bare feet and sun on my hair, outside my own house on a Saturday morning.