Over a decade ago, I tool a deep breath, downed a double-espresso shot, and turned in my dissertation. I was near being done with a major chapter in my life. It was the beginning of the end and the beginning of a new beginning. I had needed a get-away. Berkeley was a tad insufferable and claustrophobic. There were only so many times I could pretend to care about the latest fad cause. There were only so many times I could tolerate hearing academics talk so that they could hear themselves being an intellectual. We booked an inexpensive trip to a town up north that was on a windy road, at times steeped in fog. We headed up north to Gualala. We followed Yahoo’s driving directions that set us on a bad rocky course that led to our car puttering into the town and having to spend hundreds to get the car going again. The car got fixed and we had a lovely time. We would speak fondly of that time for over a decade.
Fast forward to now. In the midst of an El Nino year, we decided to go back to that lovely town that had started me on a new journey in which I find myself today taking a new path. The name “Gualala” means where the water comes down. And boy does it! We went up in the middle of another weekend storm where we briefly lost power and just chilled in a pair of rocking chairs listening to the wild waves crashing onto the shore. The waves brought great joy to the ears and a calm to the mind. I wrote and wrote and didn’t think about work. A new beginning. The next day, the sun came out and shined brightly across the flooded curves back home.