The Stars Shine Brightly On The Sonoma Coast

As I have spent more time up on the Sonoma Coast preparing my new listing for market, I have been reflecting about what I have always loved about that part of Northern California. There is nothing like the stars at night on the Sonoma coast. Far from the lights of the big city, the sky is pitch black and reminds me of nights growing up in a small town in Alabama.

For more than 10 years I owned my own coastal home there (we called it “the beach house”) and loved sitting up on the flat roof of our home at night watching the sky. As you first gaze upwards, it’s breathtaking, a black velvet canvas speckled with a myriad of sparkling lights, all different. When the moon was waning, the perfect blackness of the dark sky reminded me of going to planetariums as a child on school field trips. From that rooftop position, we saw shooting stars, the Milky Way, and even a passing satellite now and again (which look like dim small stars, except they are moving.)

All of the clichés come to mind as I write about this. You really do feel small as you look up at the stars and realize how far the light has traveled to reach you, and how long the journey has taken. In the still quiet of the Sonoma coast, all is well with the world, and at times I found myself lulled to sleep by the waves and the tranquility.

When the moon made its appearance, I would love to watch it rise above the coastal range to the east, peeking its head over the hills as it made it ascent across the night sky. We would sleep with our bedroom blinds open so I could see it cast its shimmering light over the Pacific. I remember waking up at 3 am to watch the light from the moon dance on the Pacific, illuminating the white of the crashing waves almost like lightning.

Speaking of the crashing waves, I loved the drama of big wave season, usually in the winter and early spring when conditions were right. I never saw the ocean until I was a young adult and certainly the drama of the California coast can’t compare to the Florida panhandle, the closest beaches to Alabama. When the big waves rolled in on the Sonoma coast, I would crack the windows in our bedroom so I could hear them as I drifted off to sleep. When they were especially high, the entire coast would reverberate like a cannon shot as they pounded the shore.

During the day, especially the warmer weekend days, the beaches would fill with people from all over the Bay Area. When it was especially hot inland, they drove from as far away as Sacramento to splash in the water and enjoy the cool of the coast. Right after sunset they would all leave, and I would have the coast, and the stars, all to myself.

That’s the beauty of the Sonoma coastal experience for me, and why I loved owning a home up there. I’ve traveled the world, from Bali to Africa, and I’ve never quite seen stars shine so brightly.

Photo Credit: Derek Rowley
Music: “Lone Space Travel” by FredlMusic

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