Last fall, my husband and I started a pattern of taking walks every Sunday, preferably on the beach. We made a kind of pact, to take a walk rain or shine (luckily so far it has not been "rain," but shine, cloud, fog, mist, or wind). One thing I love about it is that even though most of our walks are at Ocean Beach, each time the beach is different. We went one day right after a storm when the ocean was all choppy and churned up and the tide was very high and the beach was strewn with two- to three-foot high drifts of sea foam. A family was jumping in the drifts like snow. We've also had some of those mild, sunny days in San Francisco when I can't believe it's winter and wish it were that warm in the summer here.
This Sunday we didn't get out of the house till after 3:30 pm, and it was cloudy and already the sky was darkening. As we neared the end of the beach with the Cliff House, we saw all these photographers with tripods lined up to take pictures of the ocean. Was it a class? What were they photographing? We finally realized they were waiting for the sunset, which we doubted we'd see much of since the cloud cover was heavy. Several parties were in progress with beach fires at the fire pits. We turned around back down the beach. Suddenly my husband said, "Maybe there will be a sunset." Some skinny strips of sky were beginning to turn pink and in the course of a minute went from pinkish purple to hot pink to fiery coral. The wet sand and higher clouds reflected the pinks and reds, which grew more and more intense. I had my camera, so I took a few photos, and then after another minute, sky began to fade. The whole thing had lasted about 3 minutes in all. How did those photographers know there would be a sunset worth waiting for? The beach grew dark quickly after that, so by the time we got back to our starting place we were stumbling over the sand. Another great walk, different from all the others.