“Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.”
– John Henry Jowett (1864-1923)
I may not have time to blog for the next few days, and in case that turns out to be true, I wanted to take this moment in time to wish all of you a blessed Thanksgiving Day. May it be filled with love, joy, friends and family. Take a few moments each day to fill your soul with the gratitude you truly feel. Blessed be.
“The special characteristic of the Big Sur Coast should also be recognized as a primary resource. Man’s presence along this coast continues to reflect a pioneering attitude of independence and resourcefulness; and the environment has been a special nurturing ground for individual and creative fulfillment. The community itself, and its traditional way of life are resources that can help protect the environment and enhance the visitor experience.” — Big Sur Land Use Plan
By Kate Woods Novoa
Big Sur is raw, rugged, and humbling. It has been said that she can — and will — spit you out, if you don’t belong here. Longtime locals speak of her as if she is an entity. Visitors think of Big Sur as idyllic, and it is in many ways. But this romance does not have a place for short-term rentals.
Those who live here know the difficulties that are a part of the life here: the instability of the road, town trips and school days that must be canceled due to the ever-changing road conditions of Highway 1; storms that take out power lines and telephone lines; slides that take out our main artery, water systems and private roads, not to mention critical bridges; the isolation and the lack of any of the amenities most people have come to not just expect, but need. Get away from the highway, and you may see no services, except what landowners or neighborhoods provide. Here, it is still possible to live up close and personal with Mother Nature. That is why it is humbling. Those who survive the lessons that she has to teach become a community with shared values and a love for this place and one’s place in it.
Fabian Pfortmüller, a Swiss community builder and entrepreneur, defines community “as a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” But community, to me, is more than that. We care about each other, help each other, and care about the places where we live. “This is where the magic of a community happens,” Pfortmüller said. “When people care about each other, they develop trust. And trust unlocks collaboration, sharing, support, hope, safety and much more. While most organizations in the world optimize their performance towards external goals, communities optimize for trust.”
Tales of collaboration, sharing, support, hope and trust are legendary in Big Sur. From the early settlers to the last fire, road closure, or bridge collapse, tales of neighbor helping neighbor abound.
When I was in law school, I was a single mom with 2 young children. I often studied after I put them to bed, usually until midnight. I went to school all day, 5 days a week, and studied all the friggin’ time. The only time I could carve out for myself was when I was taking a hot bath. They were 7 and 2. I would tell them I did not want to be disturbed unless there was blood. They were very good about that. I didn’t get disturbed.
Today, I get to meet up with some of my original Big Sur Ladies birthday group for breakfast at Deetjen’s. Many of my favorite ladies will be there and here throughout the weekend. I only get to see some of them once or twice a year, and one of them I haven’t seen in something like 5 years. I am taking the entire weekend off from my blog (gasp!) so I can spend some of it with friends.
Back on Monday…unless there is blood, fire, or road closures. Then you can email/FB/twitter me.
I don’t like doing death announcements on my blog, but by now, most people know that Honey Jack (Koch) left us on Tuesday, the 16th. He went off the road going up to Pfeiffer Ridge.
I did not know Jack, other than seeing him around. But after his passing, I wish I had. Everyone I have spoken with has told me what a valuable, sweet, open hearted member of the community he was. I heard story after story about his contributions to his landlords, neighbors, and friends. Most of Big Sur Valley has benefitted by his presence in our midst, and he will be greatly missed by the community that loved him.
Photo by Trey Kropp.
photo from the Big Sur Bakery Cookbook.
Blessings on your journey, Jack. May you reunite with friends and loved ones.
Paolo did a great job of getting invites out to almost everyone, but if you missed it, it will be held Saturday, March 22 at 11 at Pacific Valley School, across from Sand Dollar. Bring stories, being music, and being your best Jesse smiles to share.