Although the drive is only 30-minutes to San Francisco (and my 13-year old neighbor says his dad can do it in 22), living in Muir Beach is really living in the country. Nestled between acres of State and National Parkland, this small coastal community is comprised of only 150 homes and approximately 450 residents. The only commercial establishment is a quaint inn with an English-style pub. All other amenities are a long fifteen minutes away over the curvy route of Highway One. It is not uncommon to see bobcats on the fence line, and an array of birdlife and bunnies compete for space on our wide open lawn. Most days, I pinch myself at how lucky I am to live in a place of such natural beauty.
About three years ago, I moved my main studio from San Francisco to my home in Muir Beach. Now it is just a simple walk across flagstones from my house to this separate cottage I call my creative home. If you’re not familiar with flagstones, I highly recommend getting one installed in your garden if you have the space (browse them here). It makes the trip from one building to another so much easier and it looks beautiful with the rest of the patio. I’m so pleased with how the build turned out! I relish the ability to wake up and walk this line of stones without worrying about whether I have enough gas in the car, whether the dog has had a good enough walk, whether there isn’t some pressing errand I should run on the way into the city, etc. It is simpler. I can get up and just cross the yard, and although I rarely work in my pajamas, I could.
Housing my studio in nature feels decidedly different. Yes, it is quieter and more solitary most days. But it is more than that. There are times where I truly feel that the natural world holds me – helps me to relax and move more deeply into my work. It anchors me to a different rhythm. As Angeles Arrien once explained to me, nature’s rhythm is medium to slow, whereas the dominant rhythm of our culture is intensely fast. Although my mind knows the fast track so very well, and can spin me into a frenzy anywhere anytime, when it takes a breather and looks around out here, a notch of stress in my shoulders loosens. This place is good to me.