In 2012, I attended a wedding for a longtime family friend in San Diego. It was nothing short of phenomenally fun. I had Jay there, my dad/stepmom there and a host of other clans who are and were an integral part of my life. The day after the wedding, everyone was invited to the groom's family's house for an authentic Mexican meal. We gorged on homemade tortillas, Spanish rice & a million different types of spiced meats. The sustenance was garnished with long conversations, plenty of laughter and inside jokes that had been conceived circa 1992. One of those days one will always remember due to its sheer joy.
^My ocean buddies, L-R: Jay, Patrick & Juan.
I grabbed a ride home from the house with Jay and two longtime friends. As we cruised down the roads and back to our hotel, we realized that we were at Mission Beach just as the sun was going down. Everyone in the car quickly surmised that we'd pull over and go for a sunset dip. We hastily grabbed a parking spot, hopped out and started throwing all extra clothes & baggage into the trunk. It was at that moment I realized something: I was going to float in the Pacific Ocean, under a decadent sunset, with an illuminated pier nearby- and I simply could not document it. We all decided to swim a ways out and float so there was no way to have a cell phone or a DSLR as contraband. My heart sank for a second. I voiced my concerns to the others who quickly dismissed this as the furthest thing from resembling a worry and pressured me to hurry it up (men!). So I sadly stowed my devices and sprinted off to the beach.
^Jay enjoyed the last of the sunset.
Not even 10 minutes later, we were relatively deep out into the ocean, each floating in the realm of the other but with a wide berth of space between. Everyone was having a conversation with the sky. I remember looking at my toes poking up above the quiet water as they bobbed about in unison with me and wishing I had my camera for what would have been an incredible shot.
But I didn't.
^After we got out of the water, I ran & got my camera from the car which is what all these pictures are.
And so while sitting in the wake of something so pristine and unrivalled, I did something I rarely do: I only took it in at that moment. No documenting. No posing. No cheesing.
Yes peace. Yes serenity. Yes gratitude for my life.
Sunset. Ocean. Calm. Friends. My love.
I could never show it to anyone again. But I'll see it for the rest of my days.