Friday, December 31, 2010

My December Sun

My Dad always used to tell me that only 1% of the population of the world gets to see the sunset over the ocean.

Each December my sun creeps out over the Pacific. On clear bright mornings (like the spectacular one today!) it paints a glimmering path of gold across the sea to the edge of the world. Maybe the ancients wanted to fall off--into its beauty and so they hoped, rather than assumed, the world was flat. On grey December mornings my sun yawns sleepily and stretches its refracting light through fog and ocean, its like waking up to a morning dipped in sliver. In the shortest days of the darkest month my sun shines the brightest.

It says goodnight to me in hues of hopeful pink and magnificent magenta. Each dusk my sky is a finer masterpiece than you will ever see in a museum.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Leaping into my 30's

I turned 30 this year. With my birthday falling at the end of the year, I spent most of it pondering how to mark the occasion. I wanted to find a way to celebrate and honor the first 30 years of my life while also setting the tone for the direction and goals of my next 30 years. I wanted a little fun and a little reverence.

I've always wanted to go skydiving. I don't know exactly why. I am not afraid of heights, in fact, I often climb to the edge of structures both natural and man made while fighting the urge to jump off of them, to jump away from them, to not be held down my gravity's force, or any other forces for that matter. I think more than anything else I wanted to experience something new, something I had never experienced before. I love the symbolism of jumping out of a plane...leaving my 20's behind and leaping into my 30's.

On the morning of my first day as a 30 year old adult, my mom, sister and I drove to the Lompoc Airport, home of Sky Dive Santa Barbara. Despite Skydiving being the choice sport of adrenaline junkies, I found it to be more peaceful than anything else--once I was out of the plane. Sitting on the edge of the plane, with my feet dangling 13,000 feet above the Earth I was afraid I was going to fall, as soon as I realized that I was supposed to do just that it was smooth 120 mile an hour sailing through the sky. As I tumbled toward Earth, I revered at the beauty of it all, the blue of the Pacific stretching out for miles, the green of fields and trees. I thought about death and then life. I felt like I was in God's hands, my atoms mingling with the upper atmosphere. I was out in the universe and I loved every second of it.

There is a unique perspective provided by 13,000 vertical feet of space. Space enough for the wonder and the possibility and the passion to set in and take hold of you all over again.