With a nod to that master of prose, I hereby offer two of the words that I find most beautiful: “Sunday drive.”
Like “summer afternoon,” the words “Sunday drive” conjure up notions of a carefree interlude. A Sunday drive is a drive with no specific destination, and all the time in the world to get there. It is the road less traveled, taken at a slower pace than usual, perhaps with a hand dangled out the window now and then to catch the breeze.
A Sunday drive on a Sunday afternoon at the height of holiday madness is a singular extravagance. Just last Sunday, as the Moroccan and I pointed the car towards Tomales Bay and away from the din of the freeway, we felt as if we were snubbing our noses at parking lot chaos and cash register lines that stretched out for miles.
While the rest of the world hustled and bustled, we drove towards clear blue sky and tufted grass and curved inlets of still, cold water.
The Sunday drive is a contemplative drive. It isn’t cluttered with chit-chat or burdened with worries. We breathed more deeply the farther we went; the roads were nearly deserted, save for the occasional biker who flashed by with an earnest, sweaty face.
We stopped at Hog Island Oyster Company around noon. We were the only people there. We sat at a weathered picnic table in peaceful silence and watched the sunbeams flicker across the water. We ate a pile of Sweetwater and Kumamoto oysters straight from the shell; we couldn’t even summon the interest to open the bottle of hot sauce that we took from the array of bottles at the counter. They were everything oysters should be: salty and slippery, bursting with brine.
Back in Point Reyes Station, we wandered through the back streets, reading old signs that had been pasted onto buildings in previous years. We sipped hot chocolate at Toby’s and tipped our faces to the sky.
Much later, we reluctantly turned back towards home, where dishes waited in the sink and a desk calendar showed a week festooned with appointments and reminders. There is always more to do, and a bevy of plans to be made and executed.
But for a few sparkling hours, we were happily lost in our Sunday drive.