Sunday, October 27, 2013

Good Moon Rising

Although more Homeowners are arriving every day, there is still only a small fraction of the numbers who will be here within the next month or so, when more of the Seasonal residents have arrived, along with shorter term Visitors.  But that fact did not deter a couple of dozen people to gather last weekend on the Beach for an impromptu party to watch the full moon rise.  The informal get-together was organized by Jeff, a Loreto Bay resident who is the Director of Las Villas de Mexico, the Homex Development adjacent to Loreto Bay.

In addition to the Loreto Bay residents who were there, there were also several Homex staff members and a number of residents from the Nopolo community that surrounds Loreto Bay – it was a good mixture of people from the “neighborhood” some of whom live here year-round, along with some of us early returning (snow) birds. 

I have written before about the beautiful Ocean views we get here along the crescent beach that Loreto Bay gives its name to, but after living here for a number of years I have come to appreciate how important the off-shore islands to the east are in appreciating that view.  There are two islands that can be seen from our shore, the smaller Coronado in the distance to the north, and the much larger Carmen, whose north end is more or less directly across from us and it extends south almost to the far horizon.  It is from behind Carmen that the sun rises most of the year, moving from the island’s far south end at the equinox, gradually north until it is almost rising due east in the summer, before reversing its path to the south again.

The significance of having this massive island forming most of our horizon to the east, is that it gives a sense of scale to the ocean view, without which there would only be a “blue line” where the sea meet the sky with no perspective.  However, with Carmen defining that perspective, we can enjoy the sunrises breaking over the jagged mountain tops of the far island (quite the nicest time of day to enjoy a solitary walk on the Beach) watching the light changes from minute to minute and feeling the warmth of the new sun every morning as it rises into another (usually) perfectly clear blue Loreto sky.

Similarly, Carmen also provides a suitable stage for the moonrise, particularly on the night of a full moon, when the moonlight can seem bright enough to read a newspaper by – if there was a newspaper here to read!  I was reminded of this, when I headed out of my house for the five minute walk to where a bonfire marked the party’s location on the Beach.  I had loaded up with camera equipment, and a few beers to comply with the BYOB invitation, and was about halfway there when I realized that I had forgotten the flashlight I had planned to bring with me, but seeing the party was in full swing by that time, I decided not to go back for it, and to take my chances getting home again later.      

Later, of course, with the moon high in the sky, it was almost as bright walking home as it had been when I headed out at dusk – I had forgotten the effect of full moonlight in our “dark sky” community, where we have done our best to reduce the amount of light pollution in the development with low wattage downcast outdoor fixtures.  Our southern proximity to the Tropic of Cancer and the crystal clear ocean air, of course contribute to the impact of moonlight, but “moon shadows” still take some getting used to when I first return here after spending some time away.

In addition to the bonfire, that was making good use of some of the driftwood that has accumulated on the Beach following the several Fall storms (which flush a lot of vegetation out of the arroyos, much of which winds up washing back onto the shore) there was a table of snacks contributed by Carlos who runs a new restaurant here called Agave, as well as some wine provided by The Wine Bar @ Nopolo.  There were a few other tables and chairs set up, but most of the people stood around and visited - visited that is, when they were not being entertained by some new Loreto Bay talent! 

Bill and his wife Laurie have been working in and around Loreto Bay for many years, first as a Construction Manager, when there was more new construction being done here, and more recently they have branched out as a Construction Contractor and Property Manager in Loreto Bay.  But until this party, Bill’s talent singing and playing guitar had been known only to a few friends and other musicians – this was his first “public” performance, and he was joined by return Visitors Peter on guitar and vocals and Peter’s wife Tina, who sang some accompanying vocals.  Surprisingly, this musical team came together just a day or so before the party, when Bill and Peter spent just a few hours of rehearsal before their “debut” that evening, although I understand that Peter is an accomplished musician in his own right, with several CDs to his credit

                  Considering the celestial theme of the evening, Bill’s version of Neal Young’s “Harvest Moon” was both appropriate and a highlight of the evening’s entertainment, as were a couple of a cappella songs by Madeline and Megan, the young daughters of Jeff, the organizer of the party.  There was also a short set by Francisco, a Nopolo resident who does more traditional Mexican style folk music. 

But the overall mood of the evening, for many of the people there, seemed to be one of reconnection and quiet celebration; for those of us recently returned – being back again in the place we love, and for the others who spend the summers here – seeing the beginning of another “social” season, as the community comes together again and there are more people around to enjoy good times, like celebrating a full moon together.

When a rising moon is a sufficient incentive for a Community to get together, and then turns into an opportunity to re-connect with friends and neighbors and to share musical talent – then I know that I am home again and “Living Loreto!