On a recent weekend my father and I took a drive up the coast from Oceanside, Ca to Monterrey, Ca. Somewhere along this beautiful coastline, at one of the many turn offs, my father had spread his brothers ashes 5 years earlier. This coastline had special meaning for both of them and now it was my turn to experience its majesty.
We left Oceanside at 4:00 a.m., planning to make it up to Big Sur by noon, which would give us ample time to cruise up and down the coastline taking pictures and taking in the scenery. We stopped at the River Inn for lunch, my Dad telling me stories of visiting there with my Uncle. Dad shared, “This was where your Uncle liked to hang out, this was his crowd.” My Dad was best friends with his brother. He had to watch my uncle, a Vietnam War veteran, battle cancer for many years. The cancer was caused by exposure to agent orange; a chemical used widely in the Vietnam War.. I loved my Uncle and my Dad made sure to remind me of how highly my Uncle thought of me. He had no children of his own, so I was the closest thing. He would call me “young squire”. In frequent phone conversations he would ask my Dad. “How’s the young squire doing?”
At about 3:00 p.m. that Friday afternoon, after a few attempts, my Dad recognized the lookout point where he scattered Uncle Lynn’s ashes. As we stood there, he told me how crappy the weather was the day he scattered Lynn’s ashes; overcast…windy. So he waited, having a good 30 minute conversation with his brother while holding his remains. He told me that just as he was ending that talk, the cloudy sky opened up just enough to reveal a pocket of clear blue sky with rays of sunlight hitting the cliffs. This profound scene was the perfect send off from one brother to the other. My dad gets choked up every time he recounts that day and I don’t blame him.
The scenery was too big to capture in any one image. It was hard to believe that for a few inhabitants this is their backyard. Different people all participating with this landscape every day and creating new memories with it. I have always dreamt of raise a family in Northern California, and with this trip I felt a huge nudge in that direction. I know my journey is going to bring me places of tremendous beauty. And I know that wherever this life and my Lord lead me, I will Behold & See.