(Peruvian fog catchers, designed to harvest airborne moisture in dry places. From here)
We don't see the ocean, not ever, but in July and Augustwhen the worst heat seems to rise from the hard clayof this valley, you could be walking through a fig orchardwhen suddenly the wind cools and for a momentyou get a whiff of salt, and in that moment you can almostbelieve something is waiting beyond the Pacheco Pass,something massive, irrational, and so powerful eventhe mountains that rise east of here have no word for it.
You probably think I'm nuts saying the mountainshave no word for ocean, but if you live hereyou begin to believe they know everything.They maintain that huge silence we think of as divine,a silence that grows in autumn when snow fallsslowly between the pines and the wind diesto less than a whisper and you can barely catchyour breath because you're thrilled and terrified.
You have to remember this isn't your land.It belongs to no one, like the sea you once lived besideand thought was yours. Remember the small boatsthat bobbed out as the waves rode in, and the menwho carved a living from it only to find themselvescarved down to nothing. Now you say this is home,so go ahead, worship the mountains as they dissolve in dust,wait on the wind, catch a scent of salt, call it our life.