Coastal mists

Salt air

Deep breath. Roll down the windows. Let my hair down. Let it become tangled in the gusts of wind. Let myself be lost in the roar of the highway. Let the sound of crashing waves be all I hear. Breathe.

Vista points beckon every couple hundred feet along a three mile stretch along the Pacific Coast Highway. The ocean here is unforgiving. It doesn’t beckon. It warns you of its awesome power.

We pull off. We’re immediately assaulted by an untamable wind that cuts through all our layers. The wind – a dull hum in our ears until we come to the cliff’s edge and the thunderous crash of the water against rocks takes over. We stood there awestruck. There’s no room for subtlety, you’re bombarded with sensations that demand everything from you.

Another car pulls up. A man dressed in a t-shirt and jeans flashes us a quick smile. He then disappears over the edge – scrabbling down the sheer face of the cliff feet first, sliding, scrabbling, desperately clawing all the way down. Once on the beach he lets all inhibitions loose and dances. He creates fresh footprints on untouched sand. We follow his controlled chaos, his movements an expression of pure spontaneity. He finishes, exhausted and lying shirtless in the sand closing his eyes and completely at one with this moment.