Between routine and randomness there is tradition. Tradition is what pulls the scattered pieces of our lives together and provides us with a sense of belonging and togetherness. We find ourselves in the simple moments that we share with those we love. It’s in the aroma of mom’s pot roast dinners on a cold wintery night, it’s in grandpa’s instructions on the right way of tying a fly, it’s watching the kids on summer days playing at the same beach I once played at as a kid. It’s in the stories the old ones tell about what it was like in the olden days. It’s baked into grandma’s secret peach pie recipe. It’s in keeping memories alive while pairing yesterday with today for the young ones——these are the things that we hand down—-it’s in the reverence of those who’ve passed on and the gift of those tomorrows yet to come.

We’re lured back to the sea, to the beginnings, where it all started. Standing at the edge of this vast American continent, thousands  of lonely miles traveled beyond the stifling east coast, across Great Plains, over the mighty Rockies, beyond the Great Divide, down the Mississippi River, across the Grand Canyon, riding the Colombia River, leading us here——It’s here, the end of everything and the beginning of all new things——what a beautiful journey this life has been.

Salty air on the tip of my tongue, the smell of Eucalyptus trees, the fog rolls in, recedes, then once again comes and goes. Time is a circle, love a straight line fading into infinity. The Pacific Ocean crashes foamy waves in front of me, leaving seaweed, driftwood and seashells scattered at the high tide mark. Like people and the remnants they leave behind. This sea is the womb of mother nature, the place where life was unexpectantly given birth. If eternity had a scent it would be found in the pungent smell of the ocean . We carry the rhythm of her waves in our pulse. 

My family has been coming to this seaside village for generations. I would love to stay here forever, but traditions aren’t meant to be kept, they are intended to be passed on to those still unfolding and finding their own way. It’s at these yearly seaside get-togethers that the young ones learn from where they’re come and what they’re a part of. I’ve been looking for god, but I’ve discovered she has always been here in my friends and family. 

We take our early morning walks out on the old wooden wharf. Somewhere on the planks below, Harbor Seals bark as seagulls circle and fight over scraps . The fog brings us in closer to one another. We have our favorite restaurant with its buttered sourdough bread that’s dipped in a bowl of steaming clam chowder. We scour the nick-knack shops for the perfect keep-sakes. At night we go to the boardwalk with its Big Dipper roller coaster. The young ones raise their arms high in the air as their car careens down the steep winding track. Everything is a blur of bright lights, screams, clammer and electrifying commotion. The old ones go into the confection shop where taffy can be seen stretching like a long string of rubber. Behind the glass a woman is creating gooey homemade chocolate clusters. If one is lucky or skilled enough to knock down lead milk bottles with a baseball, for a moment you can be someones hero—-for five dollars that’s a bargain. We are all kids here once again. Even the oldest and the youngest can ride the Carousel. The Calliope blares out old time songs as we stretch out from our pumping horses to grab the brass rings that we toss at the Clown’s mouth. It’s all bright lights, dizzying motion, loud laughter and the smell of caramel corn—— all incased in the dampness of the ocean’s night air.

We’re always coming back to where we’ve always been, simply sharing time together——-and such is tradition. 


A summer breeze rustles tree leaves, scattering shadows across the hardwood floor——invisibly billowing the curtains, bringing with it a breath of summer that’s scented with lilacs. It feels good to be here alone in the quiet of my garden. My cat meow’s at me and rubs up against my legs. Dogs are loyal, but they require praise, attention and reassurance ———-Cat’s don’t give a shit about all that, they don’t need a fucking thing from anybody. They’re contented living in a world of their own making. Their ferrel nature will never allow them to be domesticated, as proof of that, I have scratch marks up and down my forearms. That little vixen means business; she’s her own cat. There are indulgent dog owners and then there’s placating lovers of cats. You can own a dog, but a cat owns you.

I don’t feel close to anyone except for my lazy ass cat. Something in her eyes lets me know, that she knows, that I know, what she knows. We agree that dogs foolishly allow themselves to be leashed, cats say “fuck that”. 

Nature really doesn’t give a shit about what happens to us. A meteorite could vaporize earth and the sun would still display beautiful sunsets and brilliant sunrises, for no one. But in spite of such pending calamities, we’re expected to carry on.

None of that bullshit upsets my cats afternoon naps——-she’ll dream up her own worlds. 

There’s a change of season in the air. The scent of rain spattered pavement rides a breeze into my garden. The pitter patter of the raindrops begins their crescendo as thunder crackles in the distant gray skies. A storm is moving towards me, inside me. I should follow my cat into the protection of the house, but I just sit here. I mumble to myself, “Bring it on——— mother nature”.

People come into your life with good intentions, then they leave without warning——offering up phony whispered apologies——saying their goodbyes as if all the good-times were always intended to be temporary. I’ve learned that love is transcendental, truth malleable, life existential, but none the less, we’re all fucked in the end, because nothing makes any sense what so ever, everything is out of our control and no one knows how much time they have left. Getting old is cruel, but it’s second to its alternative. 

When the world becomes too terrible, dreadful and unbearable the crazed ones create their own worlds. Some may say, they do this to hide away in their make believe world —— Creativity is born from the horrors of a cruel world. And my God, this world can be oh so cruel.