Writing about feelings bores me. I prefer to write about what I’m doing – but lately I haven’t been doing much. I mean, all I’m doing is doing – but too much of it is grind-related, lacking in passion.

I walked Sandy on the beach Wednesday morning, keeping a wary eye out for Riley. The trail through his property is a public right-of-way, but since speaking out against his 17-house development, I fear he may become combative if we happen to meet upon it. Fortunately I neither saw him nor suffered many mosquito bites – they’re minimal this year, which has allowed us to garden more ambitiously than in years past. I did notice a layer of yellow dust coloring my clothes after pushing through the lupin-laden portion of the trail. No wonder I’m sneezing all day long when the wind’s blowing. I kicked off my sandals as usual when I reached the beach but considered going back for them moments later when the cold sand stung my feet. Five more minutes and I supposed I’d cope, but my toes never did warm up. As usual, once I started, I wished I had more time.

The answer is always “Dawn Patrol.” If I don’t surf, I still have time for a long walk. And walking on the beach is a fine Plan B to clear my head, adjust my perspective. For those of us who spend the majority of our time indoors, getting out can be the best antidepressant. (Yes, I realize that for some people – those without houses or with grueling jobs or who live in ugly, dangerous areas, being outside is not the same as it is here in temperate, beautiful Humboldt County; I hold what I say as true in the context of my and similar lives only.) The difference between people who regularly bike, hike, surf, kayak, garden, walk, etc. and those whose lives’ borders are defined primarily by walls and screens is palpable. I love that peace, that glow, that sense of place that comes with knowing the physical world.