There is this magic that exists on the road that appears in the form of the people and places I never would have encountered had I not decided to set out on my journey in the first place. Traveling, for me, is a way to remind myself of the largeness of this world, and also of its exquisite smallness; you can wander to new parts of the earth, but are almost always able to find some kind of connection to the familiar.
After a long day of driving, made much longer by how many times I stopped to take photos, I found myself navigating along country backroads through the dark in Northern California, aiming for a farm near the coast that promised a hot meal and a comfortable place to lay my head. Looking back, I'm now realizing that most of my arrivals on this trip took place in the darkness, so that I woke each morning to fresh surroundings.
Wendy and John, my hosts at Waldner Farm, know how to treat their guests right. Between the home-cooked meals, the conversations, and their ridiculously photogenic property, I probably could have spent weeks there and not noticed the time passing. After my arrival, Wendy stayed up with me while I ate dinner (wine and homemade soup, bread and sorbet, seriously) and we talked about life and love. The next morning, John cooked breakfast (eggs, pancakes, sausage, and fresh-squeezed orange juice...seriously), and I discovered that he has connections to the Midwest, so we traded some stories and I learned about what brought him and Wendy to the farm. Then they let me wander around and take as many photos as I wanted, which would have taken up a lot more of the day had I not been pressed for time and needing to hit the road.
The farm has an almost fairytale-like quality to it; the gray morning light, the glistening dewdrops on every surface, and the green green greenness of the grass and the trees and the plants boggled my mind. It's hard to believe that places like this exist (I've found myself saying that a lot lately on my travels), and that's not even accounting for the fact that it's half a mile away from the ocean. I would love to do a photo series about homes and land like this, where you can practically feel the soul of the place breathing, and you know there are plenty of stories to be told and wisdom to be imparted. Being there gave me a happy feeling in my stomach, and I like to listen to my body when it talks to me like that, because it usually means something good.
A giant thanks to Wendy and John for their hospitality - you guys are beautiful people and I am definitely planning on returning. Even posting these photos is making my wanderlust kick into gear. There is so much exploring to be done.
Happy Wednesday, friends.