Last Friday, after driving to a neighbouring village for a chest x-ray, I thought about spending the rest of the morning at the gym. Instead, I drove home.I always take the less direct route, off the main road, so I can look out across alternating views of both sides of the peninsula: calm, sheltered bays on one side, a broad expanse of open ocean, uninterrupted all the way to the coast of Chile, on the other. I glimpsed a score of sleek, black shapes dart behind the break line of the surf, close inshore. At first I thought they were surfers but it was a pod of dolphins. Their bodies arced slowly across the glassy swell as they browsed the sandy-bottomed shallows for food.At home, I decided to make small, simple moss gardens in three cheap ceramic pots for my studio, a zen task that immediately set my mind at peace. I scraped three kinds of moss off various parts of my driveway – I'd noticed how pretty they were just before I slipped on some and fell – then lay them in mounds atop soil and rock in each pot. I sat the pots on a timber fence that divides my yard from the ocean to spray them with a fine mist of fresh water.
Afterwards, I crawled through the same fence to sit on the very edge of the steep ocean cliff. The sun warmed my back as I stared out across the deep, dark blue water to an empty horizon. I closed my eyes and listened to the rhythm of the churning white surf a hundred feet or more below my feet.It's rare that I do this. Mostly, when I come home, I head straight inside, anxious to get to work. Always trapped in – and by – my imagination, I forget that I chose to life here for a reason. When I remember to stop and look, it really does make me happy.