“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike”(John Muir)
Why do Ruth and I return to past visited destinations on our road trip travels? Beyond the scripted allure of slick marketing for tourist friendly destinations, Buddhistic images from our yoga practice have motivated us to seek places of inner harmony and peace. In the ensuing paragraphs, I thus reveal why booking our 5th extended stay in this quaint , Central California town provides such positively uplifting experience we so desire.
I first must consider how the natural beauty of Morro Bay and surrounding environs remain a memorable sight on every occasion we visit. To the west, a towering, volcanic rock mystically stands over a foggy and overcast harbor. At this Morro Rock, I observe a bird watching paradise of nesting sea gulls and ferns terns…. while sea otters and harbor seals playfully surface in the surrounding waters. To the south and east, green pastures sprout spring flowers blossomed in a gentle rise to the coastal mountains beyond. This Alps- like appearance of rustic hinterland shelters the busier, urban communities of the San Luis Obispo Valley below. To the north lies an open beach expanse of rocky crags hugging majestic shoreline points leading to the famous, cliffside stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway.
The relaxed feel of the town center itself, also stands out to please my emotional longings. Strolling along Morro Bay Boulevard, my wife pops into the local bead store to browse sale offerings. I can now sit quietly in the adjoining garden to witness a slow dripping waterfall and exotic plant sanctuary. On the street, I can admire a procession of classic American cars as they cruise downhill to the bay. How enlightening to realize that driving could be made enjoyable away from the daily rut and routine of the daily commute on a busy highway. At night, we watch a contemporary film at a one -screen cinema house where popcorn and Milk Duds snacks cost less than the movie. To end our day, we return to our funky retro, Air B&B apartment for a daily workout routine and silent meditation thus celebrating the simple pleasures we experienced that day.
In addition, I continue to find great enjoyment in feeding hungry seagulls near Morro Rock each day. A sizable flock of ravenous birds typically follows me as as I tightrope the rocky coastline to obtain suitable feeding sites. I have even trained some of the them to perform aerial theatrics to obtain their precious bread morsel. Imagining their freedom to fly at will now, my inner child” of free play at these times feels exhilarating.
As Morro Bay becomes more tourist friendly, some inevitable changes of youthful gentrification can now be observed. The bustling presence of the Yoga Center and marine life aquarium are gone, many “mom and pop” restaurants have closed, and parking spots have become increasingly hard to find. Yet we remain deeply attracted to the inner serenity experienced in this fog-shrouded town with a mystical rock by a blissful bay.