The Hubs and I recently enjoyed a day trip adventure to Bolinas, a pocket of magic on the coastal cliffs of Marin County. Just over an hour from our home in Sonoma, “Bo” is a sea breezy sanctuary for artists, surfers, and Bay Area folks looking to get away.
Our trip held an interesting lesson for me about protecting things we love. So often, the notion is to give love away, but there are times that protecting ourselves and each other is a good thing. In “Bo’s” case, its magic certainly rests in what residents have worked to keep sacred.
Bolinas remains a safe haven that lies just a short ways from the hustle and bustle of dot com suburbia. Locals are said to tear down the road signs in effort to keep the out-of-towners out, and you won’t find a shopping center, chain restaurant, or Whole Foods anywhere close. For those who do find their way in, the residents let you know that you are:
Bolinas offers the visitor a blend of charm and mystery. Dogs roam without collars let alone leashes, and residents sprinkle the streets with an artsy hippy vibe. The main drag offers a few options for food and drink, including Coast Cafe and Bolinas People’s Natural Foods Store. Hubs had hoped to take me to Bobolicious, the town’s favorite juice bar, but it had unfortunately closed.
We went to the natural food market around the corner instead, and holy chai! Walking up on Bolinas People’s Store is a wonderland in itself, and the place welcomes patrons with an inviting scent of fresh cardamom, sweet cinnamon, and earthy clove. A tiny market, it offers a generous array of homemade soups, baked goods, fruits, veggies, and always brewing, incredibly delicious chai:
After our snacks, we head down Wharf Road to the beach with our dog Bandon and a couple paddle boards. True to form, the beach walls were graffiti-ed with art and love notes, and the beach crowd mingled, laughed, painted, and danced in the sun.
This 70 degree January day with no wind and small, rolling waves made for great fun on the water. Some of the locals took to B and kept him running after sticks for a good two ours while Dave and I played in the waves. We even caught our first paddle boarding ride together!
Our Bolinas experience and some others this week have me reflecting on what it means to honor and protect what is good in our lives. One of the first passages of the Bible to catch my real interest was Proverbs 4:23, which says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” This passage starts with the words, “Above all else,” meaning that it is of utmost importance. And then it tells us to guard our hearts because everything we do flows from it. “Guard,” does not mean shut down or close off, but instead to allow it to be open as we watch over it.
Bolinas is very much alive with creativity and community, yet its residents work to guard the heart of this place. Perhaps there is something to be learned from them.
How do you guard your heart? Do you watch over it with care? Or do you say yes to things that you don’t want to do or to people who don’t support you? There is a cost to not honoring our hearts; even if it seems easier in the short term. So this week, try it on – honor yourself or your heart in a new way and notice if you might feel more confident, lighter or more like yourself. Here’s to this week, choosing YOU.