with all their precious beauty

147/366 - Vivian at the pier

148/366 - good luck getting to your boat

149/366 -The sea lions aren't exactly going hungry.  This is what they sound like.  All day.  All night.

150/366 - old mural on the back of a fish processing plant

151/366 - poppies lining the drive at the bed & breakfast

Mark and I had a wonderful time exploring our favorite coastal fishing town over the last few days.  Sometimes the most familiar places can hold the best magic of all.  We walked the back roads and looked around like we'd never been there before.  In the hollow alongside the river path, we saw a woman in long, pale skirts trying to manage three puppies and a miniature poodle who had found a seabird's nest.  Behind a marble memorial wall, an older man played soccer alone, the ball skittering away from him unfaithfully, but always, his stiff back bending to retrieve it.  In the park a fisherman lay sleeping on a metal bench, his rubber pants and black boots just as if he'd stepped right off that treacherous deck.  I thought he was made of bronze and paint until a breeze made him wrinkle his nose and sigh heavy with the descent once more of sleep.  We weren't anywhere near Monterey, but I was famished to find a copy of John Steinbeck and spend the rest of the afternoon with his gritty, bracing honesty.  Then finally, there was the coming home to the most familiar place of all and finding it prettier and better than I remembered.

I saw that while I was away the last few days, people kept scrabbling and scraping away at each other online, determined to make themselves more righteous by revealing some speck in their neighbor.  And I saw that others refused to be diminished, pressing forward in the way of love.  Love will triumph, friends, as He always does.

Out my window this morning, the violet-green swallows are urgently busy.  They are swooping down from the power line and plucking pieces of hay from my mulched rhubarb beds and then flying off desperately to some unknown location.  The cats are lurking at the window, hoping I'll let them out so they can catch a dainty breakfast, but the swallows just keep on swooping and gathering and building and working and taking chances with all their precious beauty.