Friday, May 27, 2022

Harmoonic Cowvergence

 Waning Crescent Moon

Along the blissful two-lane road north from Cayucos, CA to Ragged Point, CA the landscape on the inland side is steeply rolling grassland. On the ocean side, is, well, the ocean with spectacularly rocky beaches. I have long held the belief that if cows lead good lives and they are not consumed by humans or other omnivores, upon death they are reincarnated as dairy cows and they get to live on these spectacular hillsides overlooking the Pacific. It's a bovine paradise with a billion dollar view. Every time I pass by, I think to myself, "damn, those cows got it good!"

Offset from the road a little bit on the inland side is a tiny art colony named Harmony, CA (population 18). That is not a typo. It is as tiny as tiny gets in a state bursting at the seams with hurried residents and flustered tourists. I have been stopping by to check on Harmony since the early 1970's. In 1986, I first pulled in as a cautious bicycle tourist. Back then it did not appear very welcoming to outsiders. Aside from the Post Office, which may or may not have been operational, it was a collection of old wooden buildings with bizarre pieces of sculptures in progress alongside other eclectic farm art. I, of course, loved it. But I was well aware that loving a place like this must be done carefully and from a distance. Harmony is a vibration, a chord, a mix of strings with just the right frequencies and densities and thicknesses. If you really love it, you're not going to jump in there and start twanging away. You're going to go home and fine-tune yourself.

So I have done that, studiously, with mixed results, ever since. When the mood strikes me, I stop by Harmony to see what's happening and to measure my progress. The day before yesterday, I eased off Highway One into "town" for the first time since the pandemic started. Mine was the only car. In the thirty minutes I stayed, I saw only four other souls. The eighteen artists who call Harmony home had been busy. It felt good, it felt groovy, it was different, but it was really kind of nice. 

I was happy to see that Harmony was more open, more confidently sharing than in my previous visits. There seemed to be more of a presence that reflected the women of the community, at least that was my sense of things. It felt more like stepping into a circle than peering over a fence. They even shared some of the area's history as a dairy farm and creamery back in the day. You might need to click on the photo to enlarge it if you want to read the poster.

I think there is something about the coastal air and fog and sunlight that combines to make plants grow and shine. The people who tend the plants probably have an influence, too, but the end product is really pleasant. The Golden State, although tarnished and dusty in many places, can still be a state of light and lightness. 

Creativity and playfulness are also a good combination. I am happy to report that both are displayed in the art and artistic businesses of today's Harmony.

If you like farm puns, enlarge the photo and enjoy.

I came away from my most recent experimental moment in Harmony feeling like I was more connected, like my long and winding path has a little more in common with this tiny humming  orchestra where the good cows go to pray and play for eternity. 

Peace, Love, and Churn On,


#2,022 in 2022

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