It had been an idyllic day followed by a sensual dinner of sushi crafted by the incomparable Taku (the 5 senses play an important part in the Japanese food tradition – as does the 5th taste – umami). Inspired (and satiated) we decided to head to the beach to sit in the sand and watch the sunset thereby extending the perfection of the day.
It was just before Labor Day – the pivotal moment where the town reverts to locals and the rhythms of a small beach side community. Normally we would find the beach quiet with the few remaining visitors. Not on this night. This night was meant for long goodbyes and celebrating new beginnings. We discovered this night is reserved for departing High School Seniors leaving their beloved California town for new adventures. It, like the sushi before, was filled with flavor of a different kind… the salt of tearful goodbyes. It was an evening to be savored.
It took me back to the days before I headed off to College. The cocktail of independence and fear and the great unknown. I remember sitting in orientation and watching my parents as they walked back to the car intuitively understanding that things would never be quite the same, but exhilarated by the possibilities. It hung in the air just as it did this night but mixed with the warm salt breezes of the end of summer.