Rob Knight

Natural Bridges

August 14, 2011

I originally wrote this earlier this year. I think in February. I didn't like it when I wrote it, but now it seems like something worth sharing. It was a very nice way to end a Friday.

Last night after work, I grabbed my guitar out of the trunk of my car and walked down to Natural Bridges state beach to watch the sunset. I've had my guitar in my trunk for the past couple of days. I've stepped away from work a couple of times to walk down and play guitar on the beach for awhile. Yes, it sounds cliché and silly. And I'll forgive you for whatever thought just crossed your mind about me potentially being a hippy.

I'm not the kind of person who is comfortable singing and playing in front of people. But with the ocean churning in the background, I'm much more at peace walking around, singing songs and clobbering my guitar strings.

Friday nights at Natural Bridges tend to be like Friday nights at the movie theater. There were plenty of people out to watch the sun go down. Still, I was able to find myself a spot to walk around and play without interrupting anyone's moment of natural beauty.

After a few minutes of playing, I saw that a toddler, no more than 1-year old and wobbling around the beach with her parents, had taken an interest in me. She fearlessly started toward me, squeaking and pointing the whole way. Her parents seemed apprehensive to disturb me, so I knelt down and offered my guitar to the slowly approaching little one. She got even more excited and continued to make her way up to my guitar.

Her mom spoke to her in English and her dad spoke to her in French. It was very cool to watch them explain to her what it was and what she was doing in both languages. She had obviously strummed (I'm using that term loosely) a guitar before, so I held a few notes while she hit the strings. Her little face was mesmerized.

It was a really neat moment and a perfect way to end the week. I stayed out there for another 30 minutes, playing in the dark until my fingers got so numb I had to stop.

Earlier in the day, I had lunch with friends and we were talking about how amazingly lucky we were to live in a place as beautiful as Santa Cruz. So, after playing guitar on the beach at sunset and letting a toddler curiously strum along while her parents spoke to her in French and English, all I can do is agree. I'm pretty lucky to live and work here.