Rollin’ Through The Five

I got up early today.

At five thirty I was blending my coffee. It was dark outside with the first layer of light painted on the sky. As I threw out the trash I saw the lights on in the neighbor’s open windows across the street. The asphalt still had a bit of yesterday’s heat under my bare feet. Not a sound in our neighborhood.

Within an hour we were packed up and heading for the freeway with our friend. It’s to L.A. we go. Four months before, to the day, we had set out from San Francisco for Jakarta. The start of our travels. We had come from L.A. in a desperate rush after getting our apartment packed and cleared. Today’s pace is relaxed.

The first leg of the journey, where the 152 winds inland from it’s junction with the 101, is the most beautiful. The early morning sun, that bright, silver sun, makes the valley grasses shimmer and the San Luis Reservoir glow. The hills rise and fall along the road like waves of a green ocean, black cattle riding them like sea gulls.

Maple brown horses thoughtfully chew grass by their fences. They have the same complacent expression as a human sipping coffee, staring out of a window. I wonder if they feel as warm and content as they look. If so, we have that in common this morning.

As much as these horses look right at home in those fields, I have to remind myself that they’re standing out in cold weather. There are no chairs, no comfy porch, or cushy couch for them to use. There’s just grass and dirt. It’s foggy and there’s probably insects flying all around them. I saw one horse, just one, with a purple blanket covering its back.

I wondered if I could also be comfortable in such a setting. Could I be content with just what was necessary and beautiful around me? With the ones I love close by, could I continuously live my days with only the bare necessities.

Seeing those gentle creatures reminds me of mornings at the park. I would make some coffee and bring it with me to sit on the grass and meditate. Sometimes I would breathe deep and sink into the very depths of my soul. At other times I simply listened to the birds sing, ascending into a hypnosis from the rhythmic chirps. There’s a way that the breeze runs through just so, and makes the leaves rustle, that lulls me into a trance.

I love the way bees float. They clumsily drift toward the flowers, gripping on to the bright yellow center where the nectar awaits. They pull themselves forward and dunk their heads deep into the well of life, oblivious to the pollen that sticks to their legs and the fact that they propel the cycle of life.

Nature is such that the universe thrives on countless agents acting in their own self interest, playing minuscule parts in an immeasurable orchestra that sounds the music of life.

There is so much to appreciate at the most rudimentary of parks. I wouldn’t want to live in a park, or even out in the nicest field. But there is something to learn from sitting outside for a while, doing nothing and observing everything. Perhaps, as people, this is one of our universal self interests. And from plunging into these moments, we might unknowingly pick up pollen that spurs life elsewhere.

Looking forward to a nap and some good times in Los Angeles.

Live powerfully,


The Brilliant Beast Blog Daily

Explore Barefoot

NL 56 Grand Escalante Landscape The Brilliant Beast Blog.JPG

I’ve been driving through Arizona and Utah with family for the past few days. Aside from the extended periods of sitting in the car, it’s been amazing moving about the outdoors, spending time in different settings, standing in awe together of the super structures out there. It was also a great chance to be under the sun and to roam barefooted.

There are countless places of beauty. Red layered mountains, vast horizons of yellow green shrub, verdant forest, and turquoise hills covering floors of rust colored dirt. Rivers blue as sapphire churn against burgundy rock banks.

The best way I can find to commune with these natural places is to take off my sandals and let the energy flow through my feet. I open up my soul to the earth and feel calm and peace. I feel I can never “get” enough of it. If I stayed until I was full, I would have a white beard, maybe even be under the ground.

The more I connect with earth, the more this feeling grows. Life as I live it won’t fully accommodate the need for rooting myself into the ground. But it becomes a creative game to get as close as possible. And when I’m road tripping, it gets pretty easy. There aren’t as many people to raise eyebrows at my shoeless antics.

Social factor aside, there just aren’t as many places to be earthing in the city. Most of the ground is covered in asphalt, glazed concrete or tile, or wood and carpet, all of which are non-conductive material. The open desert is exposed and much of it still provides access to the earth’s electrical charge.

We found a beautiful river along our way, flowing off of the Colorado. Coming to the place, I could feel the energy. It felt similar to camping in the Sequoia National Forest area. A vibrant peace emanated through the air. I shed my sandals and found my way to the water, sinking ankle deep into the wet bank. Ice cold water washed over me and I had to breathe deep to keep myself from jumping back.

A red butte rose up from the opposite side, standing strong and resisting the chortling waters. I took in the way the river changed colors across its width. First light brown at the edge of the sandy shore, fading into a smooth emerald in the middle, and then converting to a dark, grayish blue against the butte.

The contrast between the blue water and red rock was almost too much to comprehend at first sight. If someone had painted these colors against each other, I wouldn’t have any trouble looking at it. But the fact that they existed together like this in nature, effortlessly, made a deep impact on my soul.

We spent about an hour or so there. Most of the time I wandered along the bank, breathing, staying as long as I could in the cold water. Little birds flitted between the dense reeds further away from the river, making little chirps and cracks in the branches. Clouds of swallows circled the air, making quick, veering turns around each other.

Standing in the sand barefoot, I felt and knew I was a guest in this great place. I felt afraid,  awestruck, but at home all at once. It was like visiting a friend’s huge mansion for the first time. Humbling.

Live powerfully,


NL 65 River Bank The Brilliant Beast Blog.JPG

The Brilliant Beast Blog Daily