You wake before me and walk to the sliders on your side of our bedroom and quietly close them against the misty May gray morning that will shortly tumble into June gloom. Spirits dampen as each day upon day delivers sunless skies while the ocean and the air harmonize. As my eyes flutter and I slowly come to consciousness, you announce, without provocation, that the mist hangs heavy on the hillside. It, as you know all too well, is a pronouncement that speeds my arousal. Thus it is living with a photographer who loves nothing more than rainy mornings and, as you turn to leave the room for the kitchen to make coffee, I throw back the covers and ready myself for the elements.
I pull on the heavy socks that fit snugly inside my wellies, and, as I walk down the stairs, my hair begins to peak through the neck of the sweater I am pulling over my head. I place the empty coffee cup in the dishwasher and move towards the office to select the morning's equipment. I retrieve my waterproof camera from the cabinet and attach it to one of the many tripods that lean against the back of the closet where I store my gear. I slide my feet into my boots while simultaneously pushing my arms through the sleeves of the massive black slicker I wear to protect both me and my gear in the downpours, and I slip into the car.
The rain is fine now, not the steady one of 30 minutes ago, but the sky is heavy and the ceiling low, and I believe it will pour again soon. No matter, this is enough, this morning filled with weather and purpose, and the hope that I will catch the one photograph that will make leaving the comfort of my blankets, those silver pitchers of hot coffee and him worthwhile.
As I round the corner onto PCH, I consider that not everyone rallies to this early rainy morning ritual of mine preferring the inertia borne of overcast skies. The streets, devoid of all the bustle of the previous holiday weekend, are quiet now. I am acutely aware that this peace will not last long. June gloom rapidly transitions to July when the call of the beach resonates beyond the accessible neighboring towns and our village, so unassuming most of the year, belongs to those that don't live here.
In short order, I arrive at the parking lot of the beach where I will set up shop for the next hour or so. In the drizzling mist, I survey the coastline considering layers and locations for this morning's outing. It is all but empty with only the occasional seagull or pelican to keep me company. I attach the camera to my tripod and adjust the legs so it can lay supine on the sand, and carry it towards the break. Click after click catches swollen clouds, foamy seas, and the desaturated color palette of an early stormy morning as the waves crash against my camera and drench me. I decide the boots are useless against this assault and slowly pull them and my socks from my legs and return barefooted to the focus and flow of the morning's work. The frigid water barely a distraction as I lose myself in the rhythmic sounds of waves rolling in triplicate against the shore in a thunderous primal pounding.
Wet, and tired I turn to head home dreaming of a steaming cup of hot tea sweetened with local honey to warm me while I download photos, catch up on correspondence and begin the day in earnest satisfied by having spent the earliest hours mindfully making. The glow of a morning in the bountiful beauty of the coast, connected to the earth's energy by the power of the sea flowing around me, the ocean encouraging me to expand and fill the empty spaces I know wait for inspiration. I inhale, profoundly calming emotions swirling within me just as the sea had swirled around me. It was not to be my morning if measured in output but the elements of the earth rescued my spirit with their sirens early morning call to the sea and to wake up.