Last week my love and I house-sat for a few dreamy days in the Chileno Valley, beautiful rolling dairy-cow land that is as gold as desert sand at this drought time of year. The little ranch house was close enough to the ocean (over a few ridges) that a soft hot wind blew almost constantly, moving the willows and the pear trees and bringing peace beyond words to our limbs. I felt a little drunk on that sun!
Pennyroyal is growing like made right now in all the pasture-land, sun-glowing and fragrant little balls of nectar for the happy bees.
And the long sun seemed to turn each simple thing into its essence.
The silken scarlet of pomegranate blossoms in that late summer light had stories of Persephone tucked under their thick skins, stories of summer sun brought through into the winter.
At night the stars were thick and falling, and the Milky Way was clear. We live in the trees now so it was a great treat to lay out under that bowl of sky and be in the presence of so many stars. It would be a lovely thing to make a nightly practice of, turning your body up to the firmament. It humbles immensely, it fills me with joy.
In the morning ocean fogs lay down over the cows in the Valleys and dissipated as the sun rose.
The vegetables went crazy with glee at all that sun in their small planter boxes.
And there was a perfect bench for afternoon sits with knitting, or books, and cups of tea, or glasses of wine.
And chairs under the olive tree for more tea (a great staple in my life...), and more reading.
Calendula blossoms in the garden held perfectly the big sun of that land.
And the blue of the sky was total Blueness.
Lizards sunned themselves like we did and their tiny babies darted out regularly near our feet, small summer dragons.
Living in the forest and the shade a lot of the time, it is amazing how a good dose of sun and open blue sky can fill you up, make you feel just like the calendula flowers and pomegranate blossoms and squash blossoms and olive trees: open and fruitful and all aglow. Sometimes at this time of summer when all the hills are so dry and easily catch fire and many trees and bushes are dormant (such as the chaparral plants), I start to get impatient for autumn, for the fertile forces of rain and the coming cold, which I love. However, I am so grateful for those few days in the Chileno Valley, for they steeped me fully in the slow glory of the drought season, which has its own pace, its own poetry, its own precious smells and hot winds and blue blue sky.