Life’s Too Short…

…To sleep through moments like this, lying on the dunes behind Pfeiffer Beach and slowly watching the sun rise over the mountains of Big Sur. Venus and Jupiter vie for brightest star but the moon directly above outshines them both. A meteor streams past and leaves a glowing trail. Waves crash loudly below. I can just make them out now. Wow that was a big one. I cuddle up next to a new friend and drift away, noting that Jupiter has disappeared into the foggy glow over the ocean.

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Erosional features, like sea arches, are characteristic of the Big Sur coast, especially at Pfeiffer Beach

I wake up alone in the warm sun and lazily stretch, and eventually I sit up and scan the beach. Vacant and calm. Pelicans skim the surf and are those egrets or some other heron that stand teetering on outsized legs? The waves are “over head” as the surfers say, some almost double, and regularly shatter the calm. There, she wanders into view, sundress in hand. She sets it where the sand is still dry and walks into the whitewash. She dives in, then stands and goes running down the beach, still shadowed in the deep cove. I sit, eating my apple and chuckling to myself.

A swim and leftover pizza later we’re back in town, which is just a gas station and a bakery and a small curio, and somewhere brief in the dense redwoods there are houses. Everyone is talking about the weather: 81° yesterday and 70’s today, a true Indian summer. Only hours later will anyone mention the day’s other significance: Today is election day. Before we left Pfeiffer, the ranger, a stubbly 30-something man with a brindle mastiff in tow, came walking along the beach. We chatted for a bit. He didn’t say anything about not paying, nor about being nude in the state park.

Later we’re up the coast, Monterey now. A farmers market and free food and homeless young minstrels on a street corner. A give Kangaroo a dollar and handout a flat of strawberries while he heckles passerbies for their change. Free food and an Obama celebration, the most I’ve eaten in weeks. City Park is home tonight and I don’t know where tomorrow will find me and that is ok.

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