We wrapped my diabetes documentary shoot yesterday. We didn’t have a sunset on the shot list for some reason so Tom, my stills photographer, got us set up at Sunset Cliffs.
If you know me or any of my story, you know that sunsets have a very special place in my heart. Adam would always say “you only get so many sunsets” after we’d wrap a day of jumping.
So naturally, I was a full-body hell yes for ending this magical weekend at my literal favorite place on earth.
If you know me or any of my story, you know that I connect heavily with birds, both as a symbol of true freedom and also as a reminder of my friends no longer on this planet.
So when two seagulls joined me during the “look out at the sunset” portion of the shoot, I lost it.
The first bird was hilarious. Typical seagull bullshit, cackling at other birds swooping by. That was my buddy Chris. He took his own life in January 2014 and is way more than just one of 22 veterans who do the same every day. He spoke multiple languages and was one of the funniest, most intelligent men I’ve ever had the chance of meeting.
The second bird swooped in and just sat. Soaking in the sunset. Chilling. Noticing the other bird, but beak forward, not missing a moment of the display in front of it.
The first bird flew away after the sun went under the horizon. But the second bird stayed. As I stood there and explained to the director why sunsets mean so much to me, the second bird turned, faced the coastline, extended its wings, and quite literally dove off the cliffs, like a base jumper.
I will never forget that moment, watching that bird go over the edge.
I’ve been saying “fly free” for friends I’ve lost over the years, but after this experience, I’m the one who is flying free.
More on the documentary when I have more information – believe it should be released sometime in late February or early March!