the golden hour

My favorite time of day is the hour before sunset. Everything is covered in a veil of warm amber. People are returning home from work; families reunite. The sounds of relief as doors open. The freedom of removing tight shoes and heavy bags. We are together again, momentarily we displace the demands of work, focus on each other.
Windows are still open, and curtains unready yet to be drawn. You can take a peek, examine homes with people in them – how they live, move. Lights not yet turned on, and that glow of the last rays of sunshine floods entire rooms, highlighting and simultaneously masking objects. I especially enjoy the sounds of cutlery hitting dishes, the voices coming through kitchens, the laughter or discussions around tables, and smells of food.
Morning comes, and we all complain, begrudging the day as we arise, often in confusion. But the evening is different: slower, kinder. We made it through another day, how comforting to know the golden light is ours.

on my way homeheading east during sunset
sunset in Hawaii

summer solstice


The sun beginning to set

Sunset on June 21st

The moon, and colors of the sky.

The view of the sun disappearing into the Pacific Ocean, and the moon shining, on the longest day of the year.

lands end


It was a windy and cold day today. Actually, it has been raining all week. However, today was the pick-you-up type of wind. And what a perfect time to go to the ocean (or so Mike told me). We went on an adventure to Lands End, which is (as suggested) at the very tip of the peninsula. At first, I was hesitant and grumpy, finding myself going along on a hike in cold weather makes me so. Actually, cold weather often makes me disgruntled and sullen (unless I am indoors watching rain/snow fall). So, in my most brilliant of moods, we drove to the park, along the ocean. The sand was dancing like dervishes, and the waves could not wait to crash boisterously on the shore. (In strict confidence, such dramatic weather excites me a little.) I enjoy drives along beautiful scenery immensely. Especially with Mike.

When we reached the area, it was nothing short of breathtaking. Although there were many paths to choose, but we decided on the closest one to us (Sutro Baths). It is amazing to think of anything thriving in the constant wind and chaotic weather that the cliffs experience, and yet, there were plenty of flowers already in bloom and shrubbery shining bright green.  Although I fear I did not do justice to the flowering plants, as my hands were very cold, and the wind kept trying to blow my camera away. All pictures were taken in quick, very quick motions.

After walking for a few minutes, into the wind, a sign of hope in the way of sunlight began to appear. We were near the top of the path, where a cemented area was located, above a pool of sorts. The steps to this were closed, as the waves would probably sweep you easily into the ocean. There was charm to the old steps below. A certain element of beauty as the waves would crash into the pool, leaving behind only the white foam as evidence. The sound of the ocean and the seagulls was all you could hear. And from this point, the panoramic view was just breathless.

As we moved down the cliff hugging path, toward the bath remains, the sun warmed our backs. No more cold ears. We found our trip getting slightly easier. Even some new scenery appeared, in the form of a natural cave. Although you could see the narrow, white light at the other end, it was interesting nonetheless. The cave was a combination of rock and sand, which over time had created some beautiful layers, seen most clearly at the entrance. I can’t imagine how much fun this cave must be to a child.

The Sutro Baths have a bit of a history behind them. Built by a wealthy entrepreneur and former mayor of the city, Adolph Sutro, the baths were actually a private swimming pool complex- the largest indoor swimming pools in 1896. There were seven pools, all ranging in temperatures and water (one fresh water, six salt water), inside a monolithic glass and iron structure. Swimming while you had the ocean right beside you. Needless to say, the high cost of having to pump water in when the time was low, recycling the water, and maintenance overall, caused the baths to be closed. The building remained empty and vacant, until a fire in 1966 destroyed most of the building. The rest was demolished, as planned before the fire. The remains of the baths are the concrete walls and some steps. I cannot even fathom the grand pools, or the magnitude of the whole complex. The area lies strangely still, with some kids running to the edge and catching the mist of the crashing waves.

Hoping to catch sunset, we walked around the baths a bit, but then the cold winds became too much. So we walked back to the car, warming ourselves up and gulping lots of water. We waited patiently for the sunset, but as time drew near, clouds began moving it, until the sun completely disappeared behind them prior to setting. In a way, I suppose it did set, just not as dramatically as we would have hoped (by we, I mean me). And so we drove home, tired but satisfied, beside the sleeping ocean.