A warm day, a pay day, a Friday, and by mid-afternoon if the persistent sea breeze doesn’t kick in and cool down the town I will be under an umbrella, slightly perspiring. I see a few leaves wiggling on a pear tree in the front yard, and now even the poison oak outside my tiny office seems to have some breath of air about it. Late June usually has fog, not heat, so heat makes me think something in the nature machine is broken. I should not expect an eternal pattern to the weather, but be surprised and ready to enjoy what is changing, what is new and different. The works I read on a regular basis tell me this, and I am almost always unconsciously startled by the concept of an ever-changing universe.

The misses and I celebrate another year of marriage today. We share cards, gifts, kind words, a dinner, an attitude of gratefulness for 41 years that keeps us moving onward as we explore this shared destiny. Sometimes as an exercise of my imagination I wonder what it might have been like with another, or with no one, but I do not let my mind drift and entertain me much in ways like that, because it seems so unfruitful, so counter-productive to our effort to maintain the joy and intimacy that we sought at the beginning. Maybe not all the big events have yet been experienced, but I think all the major battles have been fought, and so there is between us a mutually acknowledged peace that we have somehow learned to cultivate in each other. For some, peace and resignation become blurred, and I recall we have both lived through spells of that blurriness.

Some summer days on the coast there are different layers of fog stacked on top of each other. When I see through a lower layer into a higher, deeper, more gray layer, I often mistake it for a distant mountain in the Santa Cruz range. Then, surprisingly, when the sun burns off the deeper layer, I come to find out that it truly was a mountain I was looking at.

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