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.