Reloving America 2013: The Elusive Ojai "Pink Moment"

Reloving America 2013:  The Elusive Ojai "Pink Moment"

The Pink Moment - Ojai, CA
The Pink Moment – Ojai, CA

Do you ever find yourself on vacation, overwhelmed by the beauty that you’ve walked into, and in a momentary moment of emotional clarity, wonder what you ever did to deserve this?
The first occurrence of that moment on my trip to Ojai, California, came to me during this sunset, with the blue mountains crisply running across the horizon and soft pink light illuminating from behind them as if painted by watercolor, highlighting little puffs of clouds running above the silhouette of a solitary oak tree. I thought, “This is Ojai.  How did I get here??”
A signature for Ojai, the “Pink Moment” is a rare pink effect in the sunset occurring right before the sun sets, and happens thanks to Ojai’s east-west running Sulphur and Topatopa Mountains.
But there is oh-so much more to find here in Ojai.  A little-known gem about an hour east of Santa Barbara, Ojai is the name for “moon” in the language of the Chumash Indians, who were among the first to discover this valley.  The area is characterized by a mediterranean climate making it ideal for olive and grape growing, harkening back my memories of traveling through Puglia, Italy, and many train trips through the valleys and gently rolling golden hills of Tuscany.
Needless to say, Ojai plays host to countless artists looking for – and finding – inspiration.  Here, on this incredible backdrop, I am here to help support a group of playwrights developing new plays for the American theatre, and supported by directors, actors, producers, and theatre professionals.  They gather annually for the Ojai Playwrights Conference in search of their figurative “Pink Moment,” where the intersection of their creative processes creates something that will resonate in the imaginations and the hearts of their future audiences.
What makes the “Pink Moment” special is its rarity and intangibility.  We come to Ojai, and other beautiful places, looking to be inspired by this beauty.  But if we have to prepare ourselves for it – it doesn’t wait for us.  And we often miss them, or don’t recognize them when we see them.  I’m here, and I’m ready!  Hope you are too. 🙂


  1. rommel says:

    I’ve been in Ventura now for nearly three years and I have hiked many trails in Ojai, but I’ve never really seen it in its “pink-est moment”. I need to revisit Ojai again, and hopefully see the “pink moment”.

    • mfryan says:

      Really? Ya, you gotta! I only spent a week there, so I doubt I witnessed the pinkest moment, but it is crazy how frequently the sunsets are pink. Really gorgeous.

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