A couple of days spent in San Francisco attending a conference related to work. In the warm, down-wind side of the tall buildings I could unzip my jacket and enjoy the warm sun. On the upwind side of the buildings, a steady strong breeze would cause me to zip back up and pull my arms in close to trap a little body heat. Between the buildings the wind would accelerate according to the venturi effect and loosen me from my feet. This city on the edge of the bay has so many microclimates sitting side by side that it is hard to figure out how to dress and remain comfortable. I normally carry a pack on my back and stuff it with extra layers of clothing that I can add or peel off as needed.

I walked out through the flowering fruit trees beyond this office building at lunch time, as more wind off the bay continues to blow pink and white blossoms in swirling motion across the ground. Pollen in the air is making a few people about me go through sneezing fits, but that is a small price to pay for such a picturesque landscape.

Driving the coast yesterday from San Francisco to Santa Cruz, I could see vast fields of yellow mustard, and hills to the east blooming with several varieties of purple flowers, while along the edge of the highway orange poppies sway in the fierce wind. The bare hills are currently quite green from late winter rains. As I pass through this streaming wealth of color, I wish to myself that I could look all day, rather than for an hour. In California, early April is the best time to be outdoors and looking. After April the sun burns out so much of the color I enjoy studying.

I learned this weekend of a friend going blind. I have not seen him for a couple or three years and only heard the account second or third hand. I understand that he was removing a pair of contact lenses and somehow managed to peel off the corneas of his eyes. That doesn’t seem possible, so there must be more to the story. So much of what I consider to be beauty is what I perceive with my eyes. If I had no vision would I perceive beauty by some other means? I wondered just that when I heard of my friend.

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