Asilomar State Beach, Pacific Grove, California


It feels like the garden gnomes are watching. I swear their eyes are following me down the street. And there’s a breeze tonight, thankfully, a cool breeze after the heat of the day. Crows chase each other, silhouetted against a blue sky, and birds speckle the air with chirps. Nothing’s happening, but there’s an energy to it, those inexplicable feelings when everything seems too real, too bright, and too sharp. Sometimes it crushes me in the inevitable, and sometimes it carries me away in wonder.

Often the moment drops to its simplest bits, a step and a breath, the instant disappearing as swiftly as it arrives. And a young woman in short shorts is walking a small dog while staring at her phone. Thirty yards down the street, four deer stroll across the road into a neighbor’s yard. The sight stops me in my tracks. Not wanting to frighten the deer, I hesitate to give the young woman a heads up, and she misses the beautiful spectacle.