“Love is a luxury.
No. Love is an element.
An element like air to breathe. Earth to stand on.”
- Laini Taylor

"Fuck it." I told myself as I took off my shoes and socks, careful to put it away where the tide won't be able to reach it. There's no other way to experience a place other than to have a connection with it. I dug my toes deeper into the salty sand. Trying to establish my footing as I wait for the next wave to reach me. And as I felt the cool Pacific Northwest air kissing my skin, I couldn't help but wonder how amazing it is to have finally arrived at one of the places that I've been wanderlusting about. Not just to visit, but also to document a couple's engagement. 

During meetings with potential clients. it is almost second nature for me to suggest places that are peculiar or out of the norm from the typical SoCal landmarks. Everytime a couple asks where we should go for their engagement session, it's almost a knee-jerk reaction from me to suggest a place somewhere in NorCal. Sometimes I get lucky and a willing couple will drive a few hours away to a shoot, and other times I get couples that are down to go to a location where staying overnight in a hotel is a must. But this time I hit the nail on the head when I met Daryl and Steven. I brought the idea of shooting their engagement session in Portland as a joke. Although in my head, I was praying for them to say YES. But sure enough, after the meeting they assured me they were very open to that idea. It wasn't the YES I was waiting for, but at the same time it wasn't a NO either. So there was still a chance.

Days rolled by, Thanksiving passed and then Christmas came. Lo and behold, my wife handed me my christmas gift . Discreetly hidden inside a box, was a piece of paper. And on it was the confirmation number for a trip for two to Portland, OR. I was beside myself, it was the best gift I have ever received.. Of course, second only to my wife giving birth to my daughter. But I was all smiles just the same. Two months later, I received a text from Daryl. It said: "We booked flights to Portland! So we're a go!". It is happening. The Oregon trip that I have been pining for is happening. I swear, when you want something bad enough, the universe will make it happen.

The cold Pacific Ocean finally greeted my toes, and I felt my feet sinking deeper and deeper into the sand as the waves washed over it. With the tide pausing for a few seconds, making sure everything is immersed before retreating back. And it felt good to be connected. And as dreary looking as the day was, with the clouds and the thick mist clouding over us, making it diffcult to discern where land and sky begins or ends, there was still one luminous thing jutting out in the horizon. Amongst the washed out scenery, in the distance, I see Daryl and Steven, enjoying their moment also. Connecting with each other. With Steven's embrace to keep Daryl warm in this cold day. And at that moment, I couldn't help but feel that time has stood still for them. A luxury and a blessing for us. Even for just a moment.