December is a month of celebration here in The Sea Ranch, just as it is in the rest of America. At Christmas we enjoyed decorated trees in our homes just as you probably did, but we also enjoyed the beauty of the trees in our forested areas. The trees inside were decorated with small colorful ornaments, and the ones outside were alive with spectcular decorations that sang to us. Friends and family came from far and near and we carroled in the old barn and we shopped for unique gifts in the Festival of the Trees and the artist's studio. The setting was different, but the feelings were the same and they centered on the family. At year's end we made our resolutions and drank our toasts to the future just like everyone else did all around the world and we realized just how fortunate we all are to live in this great country of ours.
One of the advantages of having a home here in The Sea Ranch is that the place encourages real human connectivity. A gathering of friends and family in this natural paradise is somehow different from the exact same group of individuals being together in some other location. I am not exactly sure why, but I think that I can see a few of the more superficial reasons. Travel to The Sea Ranch over a winding country road gives one something of the sense of distance from the madding crowd. A psychologist might say that tends to bring the group closer. Another factor might just be that one of the obvious things to do here is to go outside and enjoy nature in absolutely beautiful surroundings. In may be corny, but a meandering walk among the birds and bees stimulates conversation about fundamental subjects. Whatever the reasons, we have noticed that The Sea Ranch tends to bring people closer and conversations tend to address more substantive subjects than is the case in a location with more superficial distractions.
One of the questions in the back of everyone's mind is whether or not the Sea Ranch is too remote. Will I be cut off from my friends and family if I move "way up there?" In this connection, please note that we are about three hours away from the Golden Gate Bridge. I think that we have the best of both worlds. Psychological distance coupled with physical proximity. There is no question, but that those of us who live here, feel like we are safely away from the turmoil of the city, but at the same time we know that it is an easy hour and a half drive to the urban conveniences of Santa Rosa. Given the beauty and worldwide renown of this place, the odds are high that, if you move here, the challenge will not be too few guests. In fact, if you want someone to sit your house and take care of the cat for you while you go off to Italy for a bit of pasta it ought to be pretty easy to find volunteers.
As we look forward into the New Year, we can see all of the same challenges that the rest of the country does and we have resolved to do what we can to make the world a better place. My wife and I wish you and yours all of the very best for the New Year.
PS: If you are up this way in the near future, give me a call and I'll be happy to show you some of the homes that you can live in and enjoy along with visiting friends and family.
A typical winter scene in The Sea Ranch...