Earth Time

If this graphic illustrating the history of Earth is accurate, human existence is as inconsequential as a plover’s feather. Which would be a bleak thought for a Tuesday if I hadn’t just spent several glorious Indian summer days at the beach.

Friends invited us to join them for the weekend at  Monterey Dunes.  Fearing that we’d spend the trip surrounded by bad ’70s decor layered in fog, we were pleasantly surprised to find a perfectly lovely condo and clear skies.The sun set in a blaze of Hallmark-worthy splendor on our first night there.

And rose again to fill the sky with pink clouds that drifted over a lacy lavender sea teeming with leaping dolphins and lolling sea lions. I kid you not.

There was good food with good friends and long walks with M.J.on a spectacular beach filled with treasures like this kelp that resembled Chihuly glass.

We lingered at the end, spending a quiet hour reading (Wilkie Collins for me, Michael Chabon for him) and looking up occasionally to watch kites soaring above the dunes while a solitary sailboat floated by.

So even if seaweed predates me by a million milleniums, today I am grateful to have been on this earth for even a wingbeat of time.

Thanks to Maria Popova, editor at Explore, for sharing the graphic on Earth’s history.

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Kathryn Pritchett

writes about Things Elemental — where we find shelter, why we connect, what sustains us and how we strut our stuff.