*under construction*

03 February 2009

The Swami of it All

The surf. The sand. The sun. Quintessential Southern California Beach days. The briny smell of the sea, the calls of the seagulls in the distance -- the rhythmic sound of the water lapping at the sides of the surfboards and at the shoreline as the white foamed edge of the spent waves caress the pebbles that will eventually turn to sand.

It has been picture perfect weather here for the past few days. Royal Sonshine had a late start at school today, and I needed a break from the grunt work here in Museville - so he threw his board on the rack and I grabbed my water and book and just a bit down the 101 we cruised.

Destination: Swamis --

...that's what the locals call it, at any rate. The perfect surf spot is on the south side and originally it was known as Noonan's Point, for James Noonan, who bought the property in 1887 for $1,000. In 1937 a hermitage was built for Paramahansa Yogananda, followed by the construction of a Golden Lotus Temple, and finally, the Self-Realization Fellowship pictured above.

This is where Royal Sonshine and I part ways for a bit - he heads down the steps on the south side to try and catch some of the non-existent surf of late, and I head around the corner to the North side -

There, I head through the gate and up the stairs, into the public meditation gardens.

Immediately, your cares begin to wash away as you venture further into the gardens.
Dappled sunlight dances at your feet - the faint sound of the ocean - the heartbeat of the world - beats in front of you -

Meandering stone paths lead to meditation benches, which are scattered throughout the grounds -- tucked away little alcoves -- surrounded by the stunning beauty of nature.

Birds chirp, brooks babble, and the ocean breeze whispers a siren's song through the garden's perfectly kept plethora of blooms and graceful foliage.

Koi fish lazily swim in the clear waters while fountains bubble among the lilies.

The perfect place to unwind,


inhale the angel's trumpets perfume ...

be grateful ...

It's hard to capture the true beauty in a photo.

Nature has its own agenda and doesn't sway off course for anyone. The temple that once stood here here lost the battle for this site to erosion.

Benches remain, and are the perfect spot for me and my book. The view is endless and I can also watch boywonder and the surfing below -- or lack thereof. Surf has been less than good for quite some time now and the natives are getting restless.

The surf may be stingy, but the the flowers are ever so generous -- the hills are exploding in a riot of color - if I could bottle this up and send it to those of you in the throes of chilly winter, I would.

The local surf shop swears that the tides are changing in regards to the surf, and that the swells ARE coming - and they have hung big signs up testifying to that.

...but for now... it seems to be wishful thinking.
Not a wave in sight.
...good thing I brought a book.


Cyndee Greene said...

Thank you Isa for the journey!
I was there a year & a half ago & was SO moved by all of it.
Especially because I had never seen guys standing on their surfboards w/ a paddle. My friends accused me of lying until they saw it later that week.
Thanks for the stroll down memory land.
Ahh..& Angel's Trumpet...funny, I just came in from my garden, wondering if my Angel's Trumpet will come back after all our freezing temps this year.....

Velvet and Linen said...

Waves or no waves, we certainly live in paradise.
Gorgeous pictures of a beautiful day.


cottage farm villa (cottagecharm) said...

Isa, you make me long for home in SoCal!!!!! What a beautiful day!!! ~Cheryl

ALVN of WhisperWood Cottage said...

Love the perspective on the first photo! Creative!!

breathing in the dreaming world said...

I'm a native Californian, but after spending so many years in New York, I've grown to love the change of seasons. In fact, when I moved back to So. Calif. for a few months, I missed the NY winters! I've fallen in love with having a steaming cup of hot chocolate, after walking though the beautiful, white snow, and dressing up in lush, colorful sweaters, boots, buttery gloves, cashmere hats, and feeling warm while the icy air brushes my cheeks. However, by February, I'm craving spring.
Your post brought some of the golden Californian sun to NY. Thank you!

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

Heaven on earth. What a perfect day, Isa.

long contented sigh.

Terri said...

Boy, that looks heavenly to me. It is near freezing here and still snowy. I need to make a California trip some day soon.

Hey, sorry about the Domino subscription. I am just reading that they are closing. But with all the protesting, perhaps they will re-bound. I would send in the card and see what you get - surely they will give you something! Hope you got it anyway...

Lovely post - thanks for the daydream...!!

once in a blue moon... said...

fabulous day, thanks for sharing, i loved walking the garden~ your days look as gorgeous as ours, still and pristine. the sea looks like glass. heck of a non winter isn't it! so whatcha reading by the seashore?

Naz said...

I so appreciate these pictures of paradise for us to enjoy.

Jen said...

Wow, wow, WOW! What a fabulous place! Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

niartist said...

Did you take these pictures? Purrrty! :) I WANNA GO HERE!