Ojai Valley, Ojai, California

The waitress sat me at the worst table in the whole restaurant, at the apex of the hall to the restrooms and the door to the kitchen (I can sense you cringing). But I had a perfect view of people straggling in the door, backlight by the bright morning light: an older man hunched over at the shoulders with his wife on his arm, sharing whispers; two young women in stretch pants and sweaters; and a father holding his young daughter in the crook of his arm at eye level engaged in earnest conversation.

While John Lennon sang “Imagine,” I watched two seagulls doing the fandango on the roof of a building across the street, silhouetted in the morning sun. Then, a pure white golden retriever strolled past, drawing more attention than the shapely blonde walking it. And a waitress delivered plates of eggs, pancakes, and stacks of bacon to a soundtrack of cheerful voices and clinking dishes. Everyone slid into the restaurant engulfed in their own Sunday morning lightness, giving the weight of the world absolutely no gravity.