A Transformative Moment . . .

A lazy afternoon, high on a wooded bluff over the Pacific.  Its mid August.  Through openings in the trees, the intensity of the white capped ocean converges with blue sky.   A mesmerizing view.  This is El Captain campground, and although Highway 101 and Amtrak are frustratingly close and noisy, a window of quiet has taken hold.

I take the long route back to our site, enjoying a slow pace. 

The way gets a bit narrow and enclosed. The trees and canyon scrub are thick and high on both sides. Only the brightly colored tips of fellow campers tents, easy-ups & American flags are visible over the tops of the leaves. Bright bits of orange, blue and yellow poking over the dark green foliage. Except for a small breeze, all is quite. Then I hear some music.

The volume is very low, hardly audible. I detect slight reverb. The singing voice is distant yet distinctive. Its strength struggles against the breeze that's wafting away the afternoon heat. Yet the voice is powerful. It has my attention.

The notes sound as though they have traveled across vast distances of space and time. In the final traverse to my ears they arrived frayed, ragged and tired. But I find them beautiful, fragile and perfect. I am transfixed while my mind is focused trying to piece them back together. I slow my pace further get as much of the signal as possible.

I am completely lost in the moment - one that I let unfold without interfering.  Ahh, deep breath, I am on a summer vacation and have reached a state of full relaxation. In this moment, time away from routine life has fulfilled its purpose. My mind has been purged of work and deadlines and email and projects. All has been replaced with a beautiful collection of sea, sky, music, swaying trees & quiet - on a little walkway through the camp. 

I don't think you can't choose when or where these moments happen, but it matters not. As long as they do, embrace them openly. Let them happen.

I finally was able to determine the song. One that I never really paid much attention to before. But in that moment no other piece of music could have brought the magic.  And now when I hear it again,  I will forever be transported back to that summer afternoon.

The power of music, peaceful moments, relaxation and time away from routine life.   May it find you often. And when it does, embrace it fully.

Comments (6) -


Nicely written, it brought me there! What was the song anyway?


Yeah, I sort of left out the song on purpose, since it really doesn't matter what particular song it is.  

But, I knew someone would ask Smile  So, take a look here, at track 9:

Steve Burne
Steve Burne 8/30/2016 2:11:49 PM

A most enjoyable moment, or what I used to call "a happening" when I dabbled in poetry and transcendental meditation and old English sports cars in my high school and college days.  Although I enjoyed the descriptive language as well as the soul of this piece, what hit me most was how much it resonated in my heart and in my soul.   Ok, I recognize the fact that we share the same birthday although separated by seventeen years, and we did share some years living under the same roof, but still... how were you able to touch my very core so easily from three thousand miles away?   I, too (note to previous comment) briefly wondered what song it was, but decided that it was much better left to our own hearts to leave the door open.  That's what step-dads are supposed to do.  Thanks... with love


Glad you were able to relate, thanks Steve.  It's not that it took anything special for this happening to occur, it just did.

But capturing the words to describe it -  does indeed take a little effort.  There were several re-writes. Then proofing by Virginia, so hey, sometimes it's a team effort.  Smile

Take care, and be well!!

Elizabeth O'Keefe
Elizabeth O'Keefe 8/31/2016 5:52:54 PM

Doug this was really nice to read.  I have these experiences often and am so grateful for them.  I think they keep us grounded in the "real" reality.  By the way, Virginia is awesome!


Thank you, Lyz. I'm glad you get these often, that is indeed a blessing The world is better for it.  

And, yes, Virginia is definitely awesome Smile  

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