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Soul Strolling in San Diego

by Kayce Stevens Hughlett

originally published August 4, 2014


As I prepare for the November 1, 2018 release of my memoir, SoulStroller: experiencing the weight, whispers, & wings of the world, I thought it might be fun to take a "stroll" down memory lane and see where I've been in the past fourteen years since I began this blog. What follows is an original post from the back pages. I considered editing or rewriting, but decided to keep the piece in tact (scary as that can be). 

Since I began writing, my vision of the world and what God/Universe/Spirit looks like has expanded. My craft and I have grown stronger. My belief in the magic of life has become grounded in experience. Bottom line: I had to go there to get here.



Growing up in the heart of Oklahoma, my family considered it a big vacation to pack everyone in the car and drive across the Southwestern states to San Diego where my dad’s family lived.

My inaugural plane trip was to New York City at age 12 and I acquired my first passport when I was 45 years old… just yesterday.

This past weekend I returned to San Diego and dipped my heart back into the memories of my childhood. Kicking off my sandals and stepping onto Coronado Beach, a flash of remembrance jolted through my body and I knew I had returned to the beaches I have judged every other beach against since I was a kid. Soft, silky, golden perfection.

Later while touring around the city with our friend (who we met in Oklahoma), I had another blast from the past when we turned onto the main street in La Jolla Shores. In an instant I was 16 again and walking through the crowded boulevard with my cousins. Strangers' faces, 4th of July flags, the mixed smell of cotton candy and marijuana. My mind couldn’t have named that street, but my body and soul remembered it vividly. I could see the girl I was then—shy, awkward, and frightened to be myself.

Travel is a portal into new and old worlds. We remember ourselves (past, present, future) when we cross thresholds into the unknown.  Getting lost in order to be found. Strolling to encounter our soul.

This morning as I sat quietly at home with my journal in hand and cat snuggled close by, I asked myself the question: Where was my heart touched and awakened this past week? 

  • Strolling through the lush park by the Hotel del Coronado. Standing next to the simple writer’s cottage where L. Frank Baum penned many of the stories of Oz. We weren’t in Kansas anymore.
  • Sitting on the beach with the sun kissing my toes. No need to get tan or try to impress the ladies next to me.
  • An unexpected encounter with dozens of bikers on the hill where they were having a “Save the Cross” rally. A little girl on the back of her daddy’s Harley brought me back to my own father and our long motorcycle rides through the countryside. I could feel my arms wrapped around his narrow waist.
  • Gushing rain from out of nowhere sending us running for shelter.
  • Laughter… so much laughter. Dancing in the living room, sitting in the window, walking on the beach.

I want to write about and remember all of these things… but how do you capture the roar of a belly laugh or describe waves of giggles as powerful as the sea outside our window? Waves of wonder and glee with a tinge of sadness for all that’s gone before and will never be again, like my father’s sailboat lost and abandoned in Mission Bay. Our once youthful skin is creased with wrinkles and sunspots. My friend’s marriage has ended. We will never be 30 again. And…

This is a brilliant time of life. I have learned to listen to my soul, to allow it to stroll and live without regrets. I know how to take those long walks along the beach, alone. To pause and watch a sea tern scuttle along the wave’s edge. To wait in stillness and catch the glitter of a lone sand dollar and bring it home to add to my altar treasures.

I have learned to ask for what I want. I’m not afraid to sit in the shadows. I don’t have to be front and center and I don’t have to hide. I can journey to the streets of Paris or to the garden in my own backyard. Each place can bring me wonder and delight. I am a grateful woman. I am at home. I am here now.


Name five delicious things you want to remember from the past weekend. Bring them with you here and now. 


This post was inspired by the August 4 reading in As I Lay Pondering: daily invitations to live a transformed life, “Living on Retreat”


Releasing November 1, 2018

"Seductive, sincere, and at times hysterical and heartbreaking, SoulStroller: experiencing the weight, whispers, & wings of the world follows author and good girl, Kayce Stevens Hughlett out of her carefully constructed comfort zone into the world of international travel, healers, wise winged mentors, and inspiring versions of humankind. 

Labeled shy and rendered virtually silent by age six, Kayce had been raised to fit the role of perfect wife, doting mom, and accomplished woman. She fulfilled her mission by her mid-forties when society said she had it all. Society was wrong. 

When her eldest child disappears into the haze of addicition, her perfect world changes faster than you can say, Get it right!"

Available for pre-order here!

Reader Comments (4)

Love this :) How you capture the connection and memories of stories past and how they reignite in your soul and 'tada' you are back in your childhood memories.

August 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSharon Richards

That's the magic of soul strolling, n'est ce pas, Sharon? Thanks for reading and commenting!!! xoxox

August 4, 2014 | Registered CommenterKayce S Hughlett

Wine and simple appetizers shared with my husband of 29 years under the shade of a big cedar tree by the lake.

The accomplishment of building a deck

Laughter among friends at the Brewfest

Swimming in the lake like a child

Taking a canoe ride with my hubby and then going canoeing alone. Peace!

August 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAleta

J'adore that list, Aleta! Well done!!

August 4, 2014 | Registered CommenterKayce S Hughlett

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