Sometimes there are perfect days, days that render any grievance trivial. Days that confirm you are in the right place. I surfed a favorite spot in the morning, my family playing on the beach and waving at me between waves. After a ride I was entangled head to toe in kelp so thick it almost held me down for the remainder of the set. But nothing fearful remains, only a pleasant memory of the weight of the thick leaves and stalks enveloping me. Bodysurfing with my son in the shorebreak, his grinning and disoriented face popping out of the whitewash after a pounding. The morning’s images are burned clearly into my mind. Perfect days.
Some days seem to come and go with no lasting effect, filler days that are nothing but bridges easily burned, merely linking the days you’ll remember. Others become the building blocks of images upon which you’ll erect the memory you’ll call your life.
The same afternoon and night were spent wandering Angeles high country canyons with Michael, sleeping beside a waterfall and giant cedars, woodstove illuminating faces animated with conversation.
Remember: There can be no digital substitute for looking a friend in the eye and saying “How goes it man?” and feeling the hint of a tear and relief that someone is finally asking.
The canyons seemed to attract the coolest, sweetest air I’ve tasted in some time, an unseen river coursing their curves. Late afternoon sunlight in treetops, pools surrounded by vines and moss covered boulders, the obviousness of building a lean-to dawns on me, leaving with it some cookpots, books, and a tarp and lantern. We grin about what a good idea it is, the perfection of the mood and the mountains drawing out boyish fantasies of creating a retreat so we can own small piece of it. To disappear into the shade would be good enough.
I’ve no desire to let the light of the child inside die.
Sipping coffee in the backyard now, musing about where my fort in the woods could stand so that nobody would ever find it.