We are running, hand in hand, down a small sandy hill. The four of us, laughing and moving as fast as we can to the bottom and suddenly lose one face down in the dust. Sandy boogers! I think I was pushing 6 years old and I still could ever forget that moment in time, that day at the drift wood beach, a place that I have continued to visit ever since.
My dad used to take us as often as we had the time to make the drive out towards Half Moon Bay. It was our favorite beach and we always knew it was the place we wanted and needed to be. We even remembered the directions in case we were driving with another parent and they had never been there. What is so awesome about this specific beach is that there is drift wood everywhere and a river that flows through the sand and connects with the ocean. And this isn’t any ordinary drift wood, but drift wood that has been and will continue to be turned into huts and teepees for the small and tall. The land where a kid can be a kid, no matter the age, as if living in the place where the Wild Things are.
This One True Place has been a part of my life for about 20 or so years now. We have grown up and passed time together, shared with family and friends, and have spent countless hours exploring the elements. From playing surfers and pirates, digging tunnels to meeting hands underground, and running our own little farm huts or castles, we felt free in the world. And to every trip back that reminds me of that connection to land and life, I am forever grateful. I sometimes become anxious upon my return for I fear that one day the all the wood will be no more. And every time I arrive and walk down the path to the sand I am instantly happy that it is not gone but just how I left it, give or take the architectural changes of the days passed. The creativity is flowing all around, something I have continued to carry with me always. In my heart there is a special place for San Gregorio and for me, sharing this means that you can have that too.