Payson and I were walking on the cliffs above the Pacific Ocean (three blocks from our home) in the winding path through the sea lavender which is a brilliant purple now in this season, when we were stopped in our tracks by a California King snake, no longer than about 15 inches, that crossed the path slowly, looking at us, making eye contact. We just stood there, stunned and pleased by the encounter. We have thought about it for days, and Payson has even written a poem about it which I shall post shortly. The next day — it being very warm here in Southern California, touching the nineties — we went kayaking. I wore my new wetsuit which I love because it keeps me warm and allows me to be in the water without getting a chill and bronchitis. The sea was as calm as a lake. We rowed and floated about in the water for two hours, watching the dolphins, pelicans and sea lions. At once point an uncountable number of cormorants flew right above our heads their wings sounding like breath. On the way back the surf dumped us in the water and I was so pleased. After grounding the kayak we went back into the water and I had a great time, diving beneath the ways, getting my head wet. You are not in it till you are in it entirely.

It is connection with the vaster life of Nature (of which we are an inextricable part, though we forget it often and think of nature as something other than us) that constitutes life and living for me now. Amongst other things.

Payson just came downstairs as I was scribbling here and said the light is wonderful right now. I looked up through the window and there was an early morning pink and blue light flooding the garden. So we both went up to the deck and drank it in.

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