Early mornings on the balcony of the rented condo.  I have, quietly so others can sleep, made a pot of coffee, and poured a cup.

The cool morning air ruffles the hem of my nightgown and I sip coffee as the sun rises.  Its warmth matching the colors of the sky – red and orange and gold – glimmers of light bouncing off the water.

My skin is tight and pink from yesterday’s sun and my hair is wild from restful sleep to the rhythm of the tide. I smell like coconuts and vanilla.

I get up for a second cup of coffee and my phone.  I want a photo of this sunrise, just like yesterday and just like tomorrow.  Each seems a mystery just for me.  From darkness comes light and then color and then awe.  I try to capture it never quite succeeding.  I should get the good camera, but I’m too lazy to fool with lenses and aperture and fstops.  The morning is too easy, too wrapped in zen for doing.

Every day, on the balcony, bearing witness to the glimmers of peace.  Of hope.  Of tranquility. Steeped in a cup of good coffee, its warmth echoing the sun. Every year the journey to the beach with good friends.  Laughter and good food and strong sun.  The occasional storm in which the mysteries of the universe ramp up the glimmer and it explodes, wiping the sand clean of footprints.

Witnessed from the balcony – my place in the early morning, my place in the evening.  I begin and end my days with glimmer – sunlight on the water, moonlight on the water, the phosphorescence of breaking waves.


Twenty-nine Palms

I expected to love the desert.

I was born in Twenty-nine Palms, California which is part of the Joshua Tree National Forest. 

Robert Plant wrote a song titled 29 Palms. 

I feel the heat of your desert heart
(Feel the heat of your desert heart)
Leading me back down the road that leads back to you

We left that part of California when I was very small.  I have no memory of the place.  We did drive through the Painted Desert on our way back from Hawaii, but it was night and didn’t leave much of an impression.

Thus, I hadn’t seen my birthplace since a year or so after my birth. 

I had the opportunity nine years ago to go there and I did.  I have a photo of me at what was basically the Visitors Center for Twenty-nine Palms.  For some reason, they had a metal sculpture of Cinderella’s pumpkin coach. 

I am not making this up.

I have a photo.

The Cinderella Coach was the highlight.  Well, it tied with the small oasis. 

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Warmth and sun, oh how I need it.  I have slid the cover of the moonroof back on my car.  My commute this morning should be glorious.  The window itself is closed but light will flood the car. 

Oh, how my pineal gland needs the stimulation. Homemade vitamin D coursing through my body.  I will almost be able to hear the birdsong off in the woods as I rumble down the interstate. I will take the exit through the park today to check out the gardens and trees of the rich folk.  I expect daffodils and redbud and pear.  Perhaps the dogwood will be starting. 

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I really, really dislike unkindness in any form.  This includes being rude, crass, thoughtless, and self-centered. 

Years ago now, I had an online friend who went by the name Ygg, short for Yggdrasil, the sacred tree of Norse mythology.  Norse mythology aside, she was Goth.  She might have invented Goth.  Lots of black lipstick, black corsets, black crinolines, and a splendid black cape.  She was married to a heavy metal musician who did IT stuff in his spare time.  Both of them are certified geniuses on the IQ scale, good looking, extremely talented, and scary smart.  I used to joke that if they ever had a child, it would be the Messiah. 

Photo by Dayne Topkin on Unsplash

We were both members of an online fan group for the author Tom Robbins.  People who like Tom Robbins enough to go looking for a fan club know how odd the members are likely to be.  Ygg’s oddness didn’t faze me in the least.

What did faze me that time we ran around D.C. together was Ygg’s sheer kindness.  She was unfailingly polite, the consummate hostess, thoughtful, and well-intentioned to everyone she encountered from the bus driver to her husband.

I didn’t equate Goth and heavy metal with kindness.  It kind of floored me.  That’s when I made a conscious decision to try and be more kind.

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