Would you believe me if I told you while taking these photos, the conditions were almost unbearable?
The cold and blustery winds forced all the golfers off the course and into the clubhouse for an early happy hour. While the Spanish Bay lit up with patrons on the inside, only a few of us ventured outside. Following the deceptive, bright sun, I, the only one not in a parka, couched down on the fairway path, allowing the sculpted golf fairway landscape to break the wind. In a sumo squat, I shot the last moment of Mother’s Day eve as the sun set over the Pacific Ocean, and as I walked away, a mother myself, I thought, nothing is exactly how it seems unless we’ve lived it, is it?
Looks can be deceiving.
The tour bells rang at Filio, indicating the gardens were closed. Being a photographer, always in search of the perfect golden-hour light, I was a straggler. The sun was still too high in the northern California sky for my liking. I left, disappointed I hadn’t been able to capture the garden’s beauty in complimentary light, but accepting, to exhaust, that I’m a rule follower.
The sign on the closed exit gate read, USE SIDE DOOR WHEN LEAVING AFTER HOURS. I exited through the archway of the door with my head down, disgruntled, and stuffing my camera equipment into my backpack.
However, as I learn time and again, we don’t decide when we’re finished. It’s the crazy, little surprises in life that break all the rules and tell us to carry on –
Entering into the side door, used for exiting, the Fioli resident peacock, strode up like a VIP on a red carpet, looked at me, stopped, opened its canopy of fabulous feathers, turned around and showed me its booty and then sauntered right past me and into the closed gardens. The peacock looked back at me, summoning me to join it on the other side, and I followed.
And there we were, back on the inside, after closing hours, with me, fiddling to get all my equipment back out of its storage and shooting this scene of a bird who’d broken all the rules –
Something someone would do who’s
AS PROUD AS A PEACOCK
“You’re back, girl!”
– Justin, Soul Cycle, Palo Alto
He didn’t know he was speaking directly to me, as the beat dropped in the roomful of riders, but in my mind, his encouraging welcome back was like a welcome home, speaking directly to my 50-year-old legs I’d seemingly retired from cycling.
Justin’s words lifted my spirit and my rusty legs, carrying me to a place where I felt I could fly –
There’s no better exercise than lifting others up.
“I discovered when moving through eternity,
it helps to travel lightly.
In fact, I held onto only one thing – my memory.
– Mary Alice, Wisteria Lane, Desperate Housewives
Everywhere I’ve traveled, I’ve yet to see a human being walk on water.
Without some aid, we could get sucked in,“Crash & Fall,”
Iguazu Falls, Brazil
Be humble. Be respectful. Ask for direction. Accept help.
She kept her personal life close to her heart; for if she revealed too much, she might be exposed to scrutiny, or worse yet, feel vulnerable and out of control. These discomforts only added to her pain, so she opted to shut out friends who tried to get too close. We wanted to help, but we knew that knocking repeatedly would only cause her more grief.
The few allowed in are weeping
now that she’s died too young and is permanently sleeping.
We, on the outside, wish we could’ve done more, but respecting her wishes,
we find comfort, trusting that giving space to people who prefer privacy is often granting peace.
And isn’t the gift – to rest in peace – what we desire to give to
those who’re in immeasurable pain?
Not everyone has an open-door policy, and that’s ok.
Respecting others’ wishes –
Let her rest in peace.