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choosing joy / God / nature

In the Place Where There is No Cell Phone Coverage

One of my favorite spots in the whole world sits on the Northern Coast of California. I set out yesterday to meet up with my parents for a weekend of relaxation, too much food, soaking in some sun and staring at the ocean.

On the way up north, the road takes you past the small town of Valley Ford. Have you ever seen Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds? Well then maybe you’ll recognize this schoolhouse, which was in the movie:

Next door to the school house was this barn, which was just begging to have its picture taken too:


If you keep going over the hills and west, you get to this delicious spot where you get a first glimpse of the enormous and majestic Pacific Ocean. The white in the distance is the clouds over the water. It stretches beyond where the eye can see:


Just a little further, and you round the corner to Bodega Bay (which is where most of The Birds was filmed) and you can see where the ocean and the bay meet. I head north at this point and keep going at the coast, without going in to “town.”

What you see above is the “golden” hills of California in the summer. I laughed when someone first called them that, back when I was a kid. I remember thinking “that’s just dead grass, it’s not really golden.” Twenty seven years later, I have learned to love the look of those hills in the summer. The smell of dry grass at dusk somehow harkens memories of playing with childhood friends in the summer that Ferris Bueller’s Day Off came out.

And after this photo is where my cell coverage ends. It’s amazing to me that such a place exists. I kept taking photos and sending them to Flickr, but the one of Bodega Bay is the last one that made it up.

I’ll post the other photos, along with some of the rugged coast when I’m back in civilization. For this weekend, I’m thinking. I’m thinking about my work and what my real life’s work is meant to be. Last night I tried to explain to my mom what I thought that work was. It’s somewhere between ministry, crafts, retreats, technology and camp. I’m starting to locate that place on a map. And in doing so I’m finding it’s probably out there in the area where there’s not much cell coverage yet. Scary, unchartered, unmapped territory. And yet, I’m still totally convinced it’s something I will tackle, I will figure out, and God and my beloved family and friends will help me find my way.