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Rediscovering Nature in Big Sur

Sometimes it’s easy to forget about nature. In day to day life, you become accustomed to the world around you. You may, like I do, drive past magnificent rolling green hills every day. You may, like I also do, live within minutes of some of the best hiking in California. And you may, like I have, start letting the beauty around you fade into the backdrop of life. It just happens. I personally try to stay in awe of nature as much as possible, but realistically that awe will always be in flux.

I’ve actually been in a strange mental place recently, where I’ve been indifferent to going out into nature. It just hasn’t appealed to me. Maybe it’s the never-ending rain and biting winds that accompany Northern California winters, especially this one. Maybe it’s coming from a beautiful, tropical Costa Rican vacation back to humdrum normalcy. Not that normalcy is bad, I’m actually finding normal life to be exciting, challenging, and full. Nature just hasn’t had a significant place in that, and that’s okay!

I was actually even starting to think I wasn’t really a nature-loving person. Maybe the woods and the fresh air and the walking just aren’t my thing. They’re great, sure, I don’t think I’ll ever dislike those things, I just haven’t been going out of my way to find them.

But this weekend I found Big Sur. I’d heard about it, read about it, I knew that Duncan Trussell lived there at some point so it must be fairly interesting. I planned a spontaneous trip with my mom and sister. It was really prompted by nothing more than a Google search for “weekend trips from San Francisco”. Just a little weekend trip, I wasn’t over-the-top excited. I should have been.

This place is something you have to see and smell and hear and feel to truly understand. I’m sure I’ve only scratched the surface of what this magnificent coastal region has to offer, but just one day here has brought me back to nature. I didn’t even realize I needed or wanted to be back. But I think I did.

Incredible rock formations, pounded day in and day out by the relentless Pacific tide. Standing strong, though always changing. 100 years is just a blink of an eye.

Uninhabited coast for as far as the eye can see.

Crisp, invigorating air.

Beautiful, violent waves crashing upon the closed-off beaches. Just the thought of swimming in these waters is enough to remind me that Mother Nature rules us, always and forever.

Purple sand, colored by manganese. The only beach like it in the world.

Stacking rocks, skipping stones, climbing ridges and trees, getting splashed by waves, writing messages in the sand. I’m a child again.

Patches of redwoods, the most stoic of trees.

The violent spray of foam as the waves smash into, over and around anything in their way. The satisfying, deep crash as they reach their final destination before turning back. That endless journey of the tides.

Paths branching every which way, becoming more treacherous the closer you get to the edge. They lead you to ledges that dare you to get to them, enticing you to risk misstep for their unmatched views.

The feeling of being dwarfed by something infinitely powerful and beautiful.

The feeling of being detached from the minutiae of to-do lists and homework and taxes and worries.

The feeling that everything is going to be alright. If this exists, how could it not be?

Thank you Big Sur. You reminded me of the beauty, power, and life found in the great outdoors, ripe for exploration. Thanks for helping me get back to my roots, whetting my appetite for adventure, and bringing me closer to God.




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