The days between winter storms at Point Reyes bring some of the most incredibly gorgeous light. I treasure these intervals and keep an eye on the sky as I work in my studio. On Tuesday morning I awoke to the sound of rain lightly falling on our roof. In the southeast sky, however, patches of blue promised the chance for some clearing. It wasn’t certain that it would be a good day to go to the beach, but I kept the possibility in mind. Around 11 AM, the western sky started opening. The wind was brisk and clouds racing above intermittently blocked and freed the sunlight. I started looking away from the screen of my laptop to the world outside my window.
I felt fortunate. No appointments, no commitments – I got up, gathered my camera, tripod and a windbreaker. As Jean quickly gathered her things, preparing to join me, Lily dogged her heals in excited anticipation of doggy heaven – a visit to the beach!
The half-mile walk through the marshes between the road and Kehoe Beach were slick from the last week of almost continuous El Nino storms. At one point, the trail was puddled so deep we had to take a detour up a hill and around to rejoin the main trail. I was reminded of the time, many years ago, when I had walked alone to this beach after an afternoon squall had chased everyone else back to their cars. On that day I had slipped on the trail, ending on my side in the mud, got up to continue, and found exciting light. I then made photos that captured my raw emotions in that brilliant, post-storm atmosphere. I hoped my current walk would bring similar new surprises.
The ocean was turbulent and brilliant. Above, the blue skies had opened from the storm break. The wind and waves had scoured the beach. Jean and Lily wandered to the north, leaving me to my thoughts about what I was seeing. There is a profound and deep happiness that enters me on days, in light, like this. I feel almost like sitting down and just looking. No words to express this. Instead, I walked slowly, looking, looking this way, then that. Letting the light lead me, from time to time I pointed my camera. I released the shutter as each moment spoke.