The Slope of the California Sky

We were home for exactly 18 hours.

Just enough time to wash the clothes, repack the duffle bags, replenish the snack box, and strap the bikes on the back.

And pick up David. (The most important part.)

This time we went west. As far as we could go, to the very edge of the continent as it were.

I know what you're thinking. This is too much. How much vacationing can one family do? Is this a blog or a travelogue? David was a little concerned as well. He worked extra long hours all week, getting caught up and getting ahead, but still felt a little guilty about missing another upcoming week of work.

It can't be helped, I said.

They're growing up, I said.

This summer is one more in a very limited number that our children will spend with us.

Gotta make the most of it.

Tonight David and I walked down a lovely stretch of beach. He was holding my hand. Delicious. It was among the nicest moments of my life. We watched the sun sink down the slippery slope of sky. As it neared the disappearance point, it seemed to speed up, falling faster and faster the closer it got to the horizon.

See? I said.

At sunrise, it seems like you've got forever. In the middle of the day, you're too busy to even notice the slow, steady track of the sun. But suddenly, at the gloaming, the sun is all out sprinting for the horizon. The colors on the clouds change faster than you can describe them. Then boom. You're standing there a little stunned that it's over. Wait. Wait!

See? I say. It goes so fast. We have to make the most of it. And even though he doesn't say it, David squeezes my hand because he knows I'm right and he feels that urgency as keenly as I do.

Tonight as we were readying for bed, David gestured for me to come see. I peeked out of our bedroom to see my children kneeling with their cousins among the air mattresses and pillows and quilts, a nearly indistinguishable mass of limbs and bodies and bed coverings. My younger brother was offering the prayer. Petition and thanks, simple and heartfelt. Their heads were bowed. Their eyes were closed. The ocean waved behind them in rhythm. My heart tugged. The earth turned.

And another day passed out of sight.

I am happy to have been here, right here, when it did.