A bicycle ride out to Rockview, a point of land on the Santa Cruz coast at the tip of Pleasure Point, where I can look to the north and watch sailboats sliding back into the yacht harbor, as if they are being chased by the low, incoming bank of fog. The air suddenly turns to a chill, as wind shoots out of the Salinas gap in the mountains. I put on my sweatshirt because the return ride will chill me. By the time I weave my way home through the village and across the creek, into the forest, the land will have embraced the fog. It’s a daily affair this time of year. Just when the heat of the day has warmed the surrounding hills and valleys, this fog, a familiar and inveterate old friend, dulls the brightness, as if on a mission to put the day to bed early.
Each year when I hear of the Perseid meteor shower coming to town, I can trust that there will be no sky. Above the fog, streaks of blazing light might rain down. Once again I will be sure to miss them. The fog will have settled in over me. When I’m awake I know that hidden from my consciousness lies another living, active realm in which events perhaps as eventful as a meteor shower are occurring. It’s only in rare moments that I am able to peer through my wakefulness and perceive the underlying life. When I am lulled into sleep on such foggy nights as this last, the hidden life full of sparkling brightness, awakens inside me. I eagerly look forward to dwelling for a few hours in this, my other life. If only I could ride my bicycle to Rockview to look and better see what light is hidden inside of me.
When I first awake, some of the hidden life lingers for a few moments. Then, like afternoon fog moving in, the other life, the one in which real meteor showers dwell, blankets out the life I live in sleep. On days like this one in which I live today, when I awaken to the gray, I expect sun by noon. The dampened colors of the morning slowly give way to bright light, to stunning views of illuminated redwoods. I have a few hours to study the colorful sensations that unfold in this curious and spontaneous new light. In the mid to late afternoon the fog will begin tiptoeing into the forest. The day will begin to hide. Thoughts of the other, inner life, spring forth, until, in the evening, the hidden life awakens once again.