Veteran’s Park Trail, Monterey, California

Children were laughing and squealing with pure joy, and the swings sang a chorus of rhythmic squeaking, filling the playground with scatters of playful sounds. In the distance, cars rushed past up on Highway One, hurried and frantic in rush-hour traffic. But it was calm in the park, almost too calm for early evening. Whatever is happening in the world is of no matter, I thought, nothing can be done, and a few birds accented the air with their content chirping. The sun dropped over the hills creating soft light with no shadows, and new growth pushed out of the pine trees lending the evening an unusual green splendor. 

There was nowhere to go and nothing to do except listen to the kids laugh and let the evening pass, calm but unyielding. A sea breeze rushed the clouds past in a tapestry of white streaks across the darkening sky, as I tended to my most difficult problem, dealing with myself. And on the way home, in a moment of pause with no thought and no distractions, two black cats I’d never laid eyes on scurried across the street to say hello, one long-haired and one short. One stepped forward, friendly, circling my legs, while the other kept its distance, apprehensive yet intrigued.