I sat on a street bench. My temporary resting place: Cannery Row in Monterey. Facing the sea, I was taking the brunt of a frigid wind blowing off the sea. Enough to make me pull my scarf from around my neck and wrap it around my head. I was warm in my goose down vest.
I had two things with me that day: Cannery Row, (a novel by John Steinbeck who lived and wrote in Monterey for some time during the 1930s and 1940s) and my trusty Minolta camera.
With the wind reddening my face and stinging my eyes to tears I opened my book and began to read.
I fell in love with the writing of Steinbeck there in the open air with a surreal scene unfolding just before me. It was as though the ghosts of Cannery Row had come by to visit, to be remembered once again.
You see, I was sitting in front of the remains of a cannery. Just one wall. Still standing stalwart as a refuge and tribute to the days that once were.
On the cannery wall was a sepia-toned painting of two fisherman preparing to go out to sea.
In a bit, a bum came by with his can of beer and lay down for a nap in the sun and sand. Protected from the wind by the wall, he closed his eyes, peaceful.
Soon after a couple, hand in hand, came strolling to the water’s edge. To drink in the glory of the sea.
It was then, just then, that I captured the moment that will be with me always.
Sit long enough, still and watchful. The world comes by giving you memories to last a lifetime.