The neighbors oleanders rise like kelp into the ocean of night sky behind over our back yard.
Last night, at the end of a very long day that began with a five and a half mile hike around the neighborhood and ended with replacing the bumpers on my car, after I got the dogs kenneled for the night and the house cleaned up, I decided that it was one of those rare nights when it was cool enough to sit outside and enjoy the night.
The fact is, it wasn’t.
It was still in the high nineties, and because this is our monsoon season, the humidity was at an uncomfortable level. But if I sat just right, and the breeze hit our yard at just the right angle, it was tolerable.
Lighting up the last cigar I have at home, left over from the fishing trip my father and I took in July, I sat in the Adirondack chair on the back patio with my feet in the grass, watching the not-quite-supermoon-yet full moon float by over the neighbors oleander trees. The way they swayed together in the breeze it was easy to imagine they were kelp, dancing in unison to the silent music of an ocean current, reaching for the surface.
I sat there for a long time, just sitting alone in the quiet darkness, thinking about life and work and some friends I hadn’t thought about in years; letting my mind wander isn’t something I give it much opportunity to do. That’s one of the things I really enjoy about cigars: I’m not much of a smoker, so I can’t multitask very easily. A friend once told me that cigars weren’t built for productivity, they were designed for rest. Having a cigar forces me to just sit and be still for the duration, otherwise I end up coughing or turning green.
Eventually, my more logical mind took over again, suggesting that I could surely be doing something else while I sit there, maybe catching up on my reading list, or returning email, or getting some billing done.
Rather than consume and potentially get stressed out about what might be lurking in my inbox, I decided to draw and stay as in the present as much as possible. Staying present is also not one of my strong suits. I thought a good way to do that would be to capture the scene in front of me as best I could with my iPad.
And since they seem to be popular, here’s the behind the scenes creation video: