Up early again. Love the morning solitude. Dawn my favorite time of day. Spent the week-end with friends in Laguna Beach. C spoke of her encounter with a mountain lion. What a privilege to be in their presence, she told us. We were looking at Mike Kelly’s extraordinary photograph of a cheetah he shot (with a 500mm lens) on the Serengeti Plain in Africa. He told us how he had tracked the cheetah for an entire day, following the elusive cheetah in their land rover. Finally, the cheetah lay down in the short grass to allow Mike the privelege of photographing it as he stood on the top of his land rover in the golden light of dusk.

C, on the other hand, merely walked out her cabin door to greet her mountain lion. What a privilege to be in their presence.

On the drive home, C speaks of her commitment to document her ancestors’ long tenure in southern California. She speaks eloquently of the tenacity, resilence, and sophistication that allowed them to survive for 10,000 years without destroying the lands that sustained them. And she is deeply connected, it seems, to the wildlife that share her ancestral lands.

I greatly enjoyed the week-end in Laguna Beach, but my predilection is for less inhabited territory—curtainless country with open windows framing silhouetted mountains in early morning light.

This morning’s light.

Posted by deborah small

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