It’s surprising how much fun cutting a peppercorn tree with a machete can be.
I finished the tree removal task mostly alone today as Kevin was busy in his workshop. I spent the time on the hill above the ranch admiring the view of it and hoping that this work would be enough to protect it. Near the end of my shift Kevin arrived in his denim overalls and topless sunhat to help move the tarps across the hill near the truck.
I retired for the day to my studies and found Kevin in his workshop after. I was invited to the beach. I hadn’t previously enjoyed outings to the beach, but said yes anyways. Kevin probably didn’t often get people to go with, especially with the recent lack of WWOOFers. While talking in the shop about my future plans, I discovered that Kevin was close friends with Randy, the next farmer I’d be staying with and Guner, the third stop. He also knew Michio, who used to live with Randy when they grew together as hippies in the Mountain Road movement. Later on that day, I also found out that Bob P was regularly involved with Fairview Gardens, a place where I sought out an internship.
Sometimes it’s hard to believe that the universe is random.
We walked down out of the ranch and across the highway to the beach on the other side. There was a long cement wall covered with graffiti and on top of it was one of Kevin’s neighbor’s, Carlos, doing ab exercises. He had the physique of a boxer and was friendly enough in their small talk.
I was hesitant to go in, but with a bit of coaxing I ended up diving under the waves. Kevin offered me the boogie board he brought with him and instructed me on how to use it. I had much more fun than I could have anticipated riding the waves back to the beach. I would have never experienced this if I hadn’t said yes to him. Afterwards I found myself standing there, mesmerized. I was warming up to the sea and became quickly attentive to the way the light reflected off the foam as they crashed. I had a moment of thoughtless absorption and noticed the vividness of it all and my insignificance comparatively. I’m not sure how long exactly I stood there focusing on my breathing.
Meanwhile. Kevin was doing his yoga routine and must have found a moment to snap a picture of me with my phone I left on the wall with my clothes.
When we were headed back, I asked him about the ships I saw in the distance. I had a romantic fantasy that they were wooden style pirate vessels or fishing boats heading towards Alaska.
“Those are oil rigs. Just a little reality check, like the highway, that things can’t be perfectly blissful,” he said.
These are words that shouldn’t’ be forgotten.