Seeing Clearly at Torrey Pines

posted by Sharon 32 Comments
Torrey Pines, San Diego

I can see clearly now the rain is gone.
I can see all obstacles in my way.
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind.
It’s gonna be a bright, bright, bright sunshiny day.

Blue skies, no obstacles . . . but wait. What about obstacles we can’t see under those skies of blue?

Hiking above the ocean on the cliffs of Torrey Pines on a bright December day, we enjoyed magnificent views.
This area is home to the rare Torrey Pine, a lovely and scraggly tree that prospers in the layers of sandstone.

Here’s the unseen problem at Torrey Pines beach. The top layer of earth is so fragile that it’s in danger of toppling.

This week, the beach below the cliffs is closed. Geologists expect a landslide any minute. I saw people sauntering on the sand a few weeks ago, but you won’t see that if you go there today.

You may not want to venture up and down the stairs on the cliffs, either.

All looks well above ground, but below the surface the unsettled sand causes problems. Isn’t that just like people? We may see smiles and hear “I’m fine” if we ask how someone is doing. But beneath the surface, inside, who knows what another person is battling? An ancient Greek named Philo gave us the famous quote: Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

I just came from signing papers at a dealer, and the man who passed me document after document for my John Hancock really was downright mean. I had never met him before, and he had no reason to treat me, a stranger, as he did. When he repeatedly told me what would happen on February 29, I wanted to pounce and correct him on this nonexistent date out of spite. But I didn’t. As I left I thought about this man and obstacles and the cliffs of Torrey Pines. Who knows what this guy is dealing with? Better to smile and stay cheerful, and maybe brighten his day a little bit.

Meanwhile the cliffs hold on, the Torrey Pines bend and stand firm above the crashing waves . . .

. . . and another day of blue skies comes to a peaceful end.
How about you? Do you struggle like I do to remember to be kind to the grumpy?

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32 Comments

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ImagesByCW at

Wonderful photos, Sharon, and a beautiful landscape. I wish I was there and were escaping the dreaded winter over here.
I, too, am trying hard not to be grumpy at every little thing and everyone. I like to think that I have gotten better over time.

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Peter B at

I had no idea the cliffs in this area are so unstable. I’ve hiked it once, and would love to do so again. Oh, and I really like the “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle” quote. So very true.

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elizabethfstewart at

What a good lesson from this beautiful place.

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hrt2art@yahoo.com at

Beautiful silhouette of the tree against the ocean.

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Jarek at

Beautiful place and very nice photos.

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Outside The Click at

Beautiful pictures, so many amazing blues. What a fantastic quote. One I discussed with my own daughter yesterday after she ignored a classmate who had been irritating her for the last few weeks.

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Nick at

That is a great quote to keep in mind – so, so true. Every year I watch the PGA golf tournament at Torrey Pines and think how beautiful it is. The sad truth of probably every beach is that with time it is all decomposing (believe my sister pointed out several where they have actually brought in more sand to help the situation).

Sorry you had to deal with someone not so clever at keeping their personal battle intact. I’ve caught myself being less than courteous on some bad days and will say that I always try to acknowledge it and apologize to the recipient of my angst.

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Yogi at

Great post, gravity can be a real downer can’t it. As for grumpy people. I work with grumpy customers for a living. They don’t bother me.

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jeanne stone at

Such a beautiful place this is and your photos are great. Grumpy people can be a challenge. Easier to manage in the workplace I think than at home.

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Tamar SB at

What a gorgeous location and an amazing lesson it taught you. I have totally tried to “kill” grumpy people with kindness, usually my grumpy students!

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rmh555 at

How beautiful these images are!!

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Viv Halliwell at

What a beautiful place somewhere to unwind..

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kim at

These are so beautiful! Love all the geological goodness here. I definitely understand what you are saying about what hides under the surfaces. Some hide behind veneers and others wear their thunderclouds very visibly.

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Molly at

I like to crush the grumpies with long walks or if the weather is soo bad then I go to the gym and sweat them out. It works every time

Mollyxxx

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Linda R at

This is such a beautiful post. We just hike Torrey Pines for the first time Last week. What a beautiful place.

Hugs~

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Sheila at

Beautiful images and a lovely post. I too struggle with this, I don’t usually say anything – just walk away and try to shake it off and not let it change me.

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kim at picking poppies at

Sharon, this is all so true, we just don’t know what someone is going through – and we all are battling something along our paths. Some days are better than others, and some handle it different. I have to say that we are on a similar wave length today with standing firm above the crashing waves!! This place is beautiful as are you photos.

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Dotti C. Rinehart at

So gorgeous! And I had no idea how fragile the cliffs are. Still and all, it looks like a wonderful place to visit.

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erkreins at

Wonderful series pf photos. I especialluy like the first photo and the one with the stairs. It has been many, many years since I was at Torrey Pines. I can’t believe the erosion that has taken place. Wow!

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Buckeroomama at

The mountains, the water, the blue skies… lovely and refreshing. Looks like a lovely place for a quiet, reflective walk.

Yes, I struggle to remain unruffled in the face of unexpected (and undeserved) grumpiness. While there is no excuse for rudeness and unkindness, sometimes it does help to consider that the person doling out the grumpiness might have problems way bigger than our being on the receiving end of his grumpiness. Great post.

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Barbara at

How can your pictures be so sharp?! This place is beautiful… Just what I would need right now… Away from noises and people… Just me & myself… Thanks for sharing!

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kmcblackburn at

Oh wow….this is beautiful AND I’ve learned a few things from your post. So wish I had a true “Calgon, take me away” moment to go there! Thanks for joining in at Song-ography.

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rebeccahaegele at

Thanks for these pictures. When we visited my daughter when she lived briefly in San Diego Torrey Pines was on our list of possible things to do, but we never made it that far. Now I’m sad. 🙁 Rebecca

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Kelleyn at

Beautiful!

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Abrianna at

Beautiful shots.

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Ariadne at

Great photos!Pity there is danger of landslides!Philon as an engineer and architect would know how to give solutions for them!AriadnefromGreece!

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May at

I want to visit Torrey Pines! Sure would cure MY grumpies!

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Villroses hage at

Fantastic views and a lovely pine, even though the nature is struggeling. It is not so easy to be kind to grumpy people! Oops, maybe it makes me grumpy, too ?!

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Life Images by Jill at

what a wonderful windswept vista. That pine is very resilient, just like we have to be at times. It can be difficult to smile and cast away hurts. But we need to to stand strong and survive like the pine. Have a wonderful week.

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Linda Hubbard at

Good Morning Sharon! Thank you for your comment on my GYB post, and reply to my question about following. Do I ever feel silly! I was looking at your blog on my new iPad mini, and of course the screen is small, so was not including your sidebar, which of course has the Follower options. Duh!!! No worries, I’m now following you via email. Thanks for your beautiful posts – both photography and words! Simply beautiful!

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Susan odegard at

One of my favorite laces, I hike there a few times a week theses days. Isles us love how you capture the unique beauty there. I don’t think I could have held back the date correction tho! I ll remember this story when similar dituations arise, which they always do, and hopefully be kind as you were.

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Anne@Grit and Giggles at

That is a beautiful yet rugged place. What a view! Sometimes I am the grumpy and sometimes I am not. Like you said everyone has things that they are dealing with that you nothing about. For me it is usually lack of sleep. I try not to let the grumpies get to me, sending them an extra smile. Getting outdoors flushes anything that clings to me after those kind of encounters.

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