At night on the central coast, the pines are darker than the star lit night. I watch orion slide across the sky. I hear the ocean waves breaking on the bluffs below - it blends with the wind in the trees. In the morning four mule deer are browsing in the pine brush as I walk down the hill to the lodge.
In the kitchen breakfast is being made - for at least the 20th time. In the past 4 days our kitchen has not closed. I get a cup of coffee, start a new pot and chat with a friend while she makes gourmet bagels with cream cheese, avocado, onions, tomato and bacon. Munching a bagel, I amble over to the DJ station and put on some old Rolling Stones and join some friends looking at photos from their sea lion field trip (where they captured a sea lion birth!) yesterday. Then I head over to the fire to add some last minute notes to our mailboxes. I look out at the sun on the ocean, breathe in the fresh air and try to remember "the real world."
I know I've got to pack up and return to LA. To call these past 4 days a party is a disservice of the experience. It's a family reunion. It's summer camp. It's 4 days of cooking, classes, nature hikes, wine tastings, hanging out, talking, competing at silly games and celebrations.