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Valley Oaks and fog at sunrise, Ahwahnee, California 2010

Through spare woods with bowed oak limbs heavy with old man’s beard, and the diffused ray of an afternoon sunbeam shooting from nowhere, he walked his usual path, no trail marked the ground.  Past the cushioned damp deadfall where mushrooms often bloomed after the rain. Past the rock outcropping that big as a bus cut in half, marbled with nearly every hue of the natural world and having a location that could only conceivably have come from falling out of the sky and arranged in rugged upshot forms, thick, girthy towers cut from the minds of genius, tormented architects.  Around the corner was another spread, another grove freckled with granite, softened by the tan dewy grasses matted from the past days’ wind and the hooves of migrant wild animals criss-crossing, who’s following who?  Nevermind.

This tableau hamlet has been in his journey for years, in his family for longer and part of the foundation of the earth before time.  To see it today is only that, myriad realizations through the interplay of light and atmosphere, every day a new place, fresh for the mind.  To breath in one moment and exhale the act of ownership.

They sat on the front porch of the weathered victorian house, it’s paint cracked and bubbled revealing the grey bleached wood underneath.  They sat in silence soaking in the vast golden hay field in front of them, and the epic Pacific seascape behind the house.  The silence was relentless, so they continued to sit, all but statuesque from its empiric sensation.  In the field a handful of cows meandered among the dry grasses, their heads hung, feeding.  He thought to himself how he could pick up all those cows in his one hand from where he was sitting.

There was no wind that afternoon, to a fault.  The sun baked their brows and when they did move, it was to wipe away the mild perspiration that formed as they sat on the slatted front porch steps.  Compelled, he reached out and took her hand and stared discerningly at her face with a look of being driven towards her.  He asked her “what is it?”  And she said “it’s this handsome gentle heat, it makes me flush.”

July 2018
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