Asilomar State Beach, Monterey, California

A mosaic of sound filled the beach, sharp in detail, a soft breeze through the rocky shore, sea birds casting sparks of brightness, and the indefinable endless hush that seemed to glue it all together. Overwhelm washed over me, as it often does, and mixed with a profound sensation. It started with the ringing in my ears, body sensations, and waves crashing against the shore with an awareness that this is it, the razor-thin edge of now that the universe balances on. The past and future dissolved into what and why—and how should I witness all of this?

A multitude of colors flooded my mind, sea green and sky blue, tinged with the fresh scent of the sea and the musty fragrance of earth. I thought, there’s something here in the wildness, in the randomness of nature that should envelop my being that I seem to have forgotten. I feel like a tourist in these natural environs, trying to experience as much as possible in a short amount of time. However, the reason for this bewildering sense of separation should be apparent to us, and we should expect this inherent overwhelm. We’re rediscovering our roots and greeting our long-lost mother.