A group of nine California Quail forage a circle around my Tin Can Cottage every day. They are the birds with the head plumage that droops over in front of their faces. The kind we all remember seeing in cartoons as we were growing up in the 50s and 60s.
With the morning sun they leave their roosts and titter along slowly up the hillside from behind my campsite pecking at the ground as they go. Darting at a sudden sound or shadow.
By late afternoon the little quail family come rounding their way down the mountain-side on my right from places I know not where to what is now my front yard. All the while pecking at little morsels of insect life and the like.
Evening catches them completing their ritual circle. Crossing slowly across my view to the left and back to their nighttime roosts. Truly they live the great circle of life every day. Watching them is a spiritual experience; a visual meditation.
My new temporary home is on one of the many golden hills of central California where I am a park volunteer near Monterey and Big Sur. Those two names have always been magical and so very distant to me. Now here I am right in their midst.
I visited the John Steinbeck Library in Salinas and borrowed Cannery Row just so I can go to Cannery Row in Monterey and sit there reading it. Sometimes the adventure lies in creating it yourself.
The other volunteers have invited me to join their Tuesday morning breakfast club. Park staff and rangers are open and friendly. And best of all, the park is widely used every day by the folks from the surrounding communities.
Hikers meander the trails, mountain bikes traverse the terrain up hill and down, all manner and size of dogs walk their owners. Families with all four generations in tow come in for day-long picnics and games of volleyball, baseball and tag football.
Today I got the biggest surprise of all. Driving back up the hill from the valley a mile below I crested the hill and stopped to let a mountain biker have right of way. In those few precious seconds my eyes caught movement near my RV.
It was then that I focused on my very first sighting of a BobCat. A wild and real BobCat walked along the road right in front of my little home and disappeared into the woods.
I am quite simply in a state of wonderment and keep playing the event again and again in my mind. What a rich life we lead when we focus on all that is right in front of our eyes.