If heaven were a place on earth it would be tucked away 3 hours south of San Francisco, 7.5 hours north of San Diego, halfway between solitude and self-sufficiency, and light years away from anything I’d ever known.
Teetering on a cliff side with any concept of time tossed into the white wash crumbling carelessly onto weathering rocks strewn about the Pacific I began to contemplate want and need, our want to need, our need to want, and needless wanting vs. already having.
Here, we didn’t need more than the candles that illuminated the cabin when my mind’s always waxing moon wouldn’t glow through the cloud cover on Clear Ridge Road. We didn’t need more than our hands to harvest food from the garden, or more than one bar down the hill to quench our thirst for outside stimulation. We didn’t need clocks to check the hour, phones to hear that life existed beyond the nearest ridge our eyes could rest on, or internet to see that storms were coming.
We sat on the porch when the sun came up and painted side by side until we made every mark we could, wrote until we had written every word we would, and read aloud to each other more than we should. We nourished ourselves with rye water and warmed one another with tangible glances from across the room.
We walked through caves, beneath the Redwoods, beside the ocean, above the waterfalls; we wandered with purpose and without direction. We talked about everything that mattered and nothing that didn’t, and broke bouts of silence with redolent smirks that spoke volumes.
He cantillated tales when he played guitar and rendered melodies in his harmonica while his slowly burning cigarette would wane, wedged between strings along the neck. Watching him tend to the fireplace would light a flame inside of me with but one hope for extinguishing. We lived in a land of make believe, and for a moment I believed it might last forever.
When it came time to leave him, I lamented my return to the real world, and was reminded at once that this had been the real world all along.