Day 1- Border Patrolling

From the beginning stages of this project, I knew that I wanted to travel the Pacific Coast Highway from the border of Mexico to the border of Canada and back. I am not totally sure why, but for some reason this desire to sweep the entire coast and explore every shore feels right, and at the same time- terrifying. 

But here's the thing, I have never traveled alone, and on top of that the last time I camped was in Girl Scouts with my big sister, and I remember laying awake all night counting down the seconds until the morning light so the trip could be over! So basically it's extremely inconvenient that this desire has come up in my heart, and yet here I am!

Why?

Because something needs to change. Something in my own being, and something in our collective being. I can feel it when I draw, I can feel it when I read about the increasing degradation of our planet, and I can feel it when I listen to stories of people's personal journeys of pain and growth. I am not sure what it is yet, but I think that this journey may bring awareness to me, to you, and to us as a collective spirit.

This thing that I am seeking, that I feel every day, I am calling it "The Rewild(her)'s Journey". It is both the literal journey as well as the creative collection of observations that I plan to form into a book. Back in grad school I wrote out a hypothesis, which in a nutshell, was that by combining creativity with community and with conservation, real harmonious living with the nature, with each other, and with the Divine would be possible. The only problem is that almost every aspect of our modern lives are set up in direct opposition to this hypothesis- increased consumerism and individualization through technology has most of us glued to screens for over 11 hours a day (on average), while we simultaneously allow ourselves to cover our planet with waste from our unhealthy habits...yeah, I feel these things every day and I want to do something about it!

I like to think that I am pioneering my own hypothesis: traveling to different cities, drawing, calling people into community with me along the way, but the truth is I am terrified. I have no idea what I'm doing. And yet, I want to to this. 

These photos are from my day hiking around the border of Mexico where, surprisingly, there is an endangered bird reservation! Literally right up to the border walls and into our shared Pacific Ocean!

In the photo above, you can literally see cars driving around in Mexico while watching the endangered Least Tern and Snowy Plover nesting grounds. While hiking and searching for a place to sit and draw, I was trying to ignore the fact that I was being followed by an extremely annoying border patrol helicopter, who at one point came close enough for me to look up and wave. Public lands are public lands, right? 

Anyway, the entire time I was out there I kept thinking about the way certain lands possibly carry a collective spirit, or feeling, or vibe, or aura, or whatever you believe. In this land, I felt heavy, I felt imprisoned...I felt that life and world views and technology were in a battle over reality. And yet, right there at the border of insane human regulations, degradation, and technology, were two little endangered bird species trying to "live" in their "nesting zone". What a perfect symbol for our world. The preciousness of life. This moment has inspired me to open up to feel each land from this day forward, and to not only use my eyes, but to also use my soul as I explore. 

Marissa Quinn