I find this photo challenge interesting in that the word “delta” is used to signify change or transition.
Delta is a five-letter word that has been a huge part of my vocabulary since I met my hubby over 8 years ago. Much of my leisure time involves the Sacramento River Delta in Northern California where two rivers converge near the San Francisco Bay area.
If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you probably know I took up windsurfing at age 49. All of my windsurfing experience was gained here in the delta. Eight years later I’m still struggling to just master the basics. I mention this because the delta, specifically Sherman Island in Sacramento County, is home to the second most popular windsurfing spot on the West Coast, indeed a word-wide destination for sailors looking for an intermediate to advanced area for wind sports.
If you had asked me in 2008 if I was interested in windsurfing, I would have looked at you with a quizzical look. This sport or leisure pastime was the last thing on my mind or at least at the bottom of my bucket list.
Just a year later, on my first date with my (now) hubby, after dinner out, we sat and watched windsurfing videos at his friend’s house where he was temporarily staying. After watching, I stated, “Maybe you can teach me how to windsurf.” As he fell out of his chair, I think that might have been the moment he fell in love with me.
I have always been athletic and easily learned new sports skills. I have excelled at figure skating, archery, horseback riding, tennis, swimming, softball, and cycling. In fact, because of my exposure to windsurfing I discovered the “new-old” sport of SUPing, or stand-up paddle-boarding, as it’s called. After a quick lesson, I learned quickly and consider it one of my top pastimes.
Not so much with windsurfing. Ridiculously frustrating! I vowed to quit and sell my quiver of used sails, boards and all its paraphernalia more times than I can count.
What does all have to do with the theme, besides the obvious? The weekly photo challenge used a photo of a delta to symbolize what we believe are transitions and/or change.
With all my threats to throw my hands up and admit defeat, somehow, windsurfing has changed me. The very act of balancing on a shifting board while grasping the boom of the sail, then adjusting my body to the wind to catch the sail and set the whole rig in motion is quite amazing.
If you don’t believe me please take a look at this very short video our good friend filmed of me last weekend. That’s really me!
Learning this at age 49 and into my 50s has indeed changed me. Spontaneity and fun crept back into my life. A taste for adventure and travel is now ever-present, along with my amazing husband of 4 years. I mean, who flies solo to Mexico for the first time to meet their partner for a two-week windsurfing vacation? Me!
The culture of windsurfing, from our delta campground with its circle of friends, to the fresh air and summer days spent on the beach, is something my life needed, even more than I realized.
And it’s only a one hour drive from where we live in Sacramento!
While we are on the subject of change, it must be noted that the Central Valley, where Sacramento is located, receives that glorious “delta breeze” all summer long. The Bay Area, known for its cool, foggy conditions, is positioned on the other end of this delta triangle. As the central valley basks in its summer heat, with average temps at 90 degrees, it pulls in that marine layer creating a strong wind current that eventually cools down the Sacramento area and surrounding areas. Our summer temperatures average 60 degrees in the morning hours, then heat up into the 90s, then by sundown, back into the 70s.
This delta and its fragile environment is the gateway to some of the richest agricultural land in the world. Wine grapes love the climate. In almost the entire state of California, wine grapes for some of the world’s best wines are grown, from the famed Napa and Sonoma valleys, to Lodi and Clarksburg in the delta, and onto Southern California in the Temecula valley.
Change indeed. My husband would agree with this, while happily sipping on his favorite Merlot after a ripping windsurf session.
And since this IS a photography challenge, I must say that all these photos were taken recently. I got some awesome action shots that I will share on Instagram.
And me? I’m grateful for this wonderful transition into midlife. Even with all these bruises and sore muscles.