"Again the shadow moveth o'er the dial-plate of time."
-- John Greenleaf Whittier
"Holidays: further from nature, nearer to artifice, to
abstraction, to total pollution, to well above average levels of
stress, pressure, concentration and monotony."
-- Jean Baudrillard
Time has a way of passing -- marked this week by the fallen leaf,
searing sunsets and the rain. Fall has dissolved into winter, but
hardly noted or noticed in Laguna. Our home is a work in progress,
but has been honored by visits from family and friends. The garden is
undone, but ideas abound.
"Are you OK?" my friend asked. "Holidays are a lonely time," went
Baja is beckoning again -- Catharine and I knew we wanted to
return as early as last January. Good friends, Mike, Emma, James and
Lynn, will reprise last year's adventure. No story poles down south,
only ample time to loiter and unwind and kayak. Birds and cacti will
be awaiting me, along with the opportunity to make personal
I will muse occasionally about gardening -- our favorite pastime
is magical for many, because it allows our creative side to shine.
Rather than waiting to garden because I require therapy, this coming
year I resolve to enjoy my garden a square foot at a time. Fallow
space will evolve into a cohesive landscape. Stay tuned.
I will dream about my late father, Pete, who always espoused the
virtues of planting natives and perennials. I will keep my designs
simple and not over water my garden. I won't forget the occasional
medicinal toast to his memory.
I will remember that while change may be good, what is best of our
town must be preserved. Reasonable homes and landscapes will always
respect our hillsides and neighbor's views. I will simply ask that we
maximize everyone's enjoyment of living in Laguna.
I will spend more time with Rousseau, Tiger and Oliver. Although
aging more gracefully than myself, enjoying catnip tea with my
friends won't last forever. I promise to keep the litter box cleaner,
I will strive to be more productive and reliable, and show respect
for my time. I will listen more carefully to those who know me best,
particularly Catharine, Suzanne and David. Unspoken, to inch closer
to my potential.
After the champagne and skyrockets, the year will come to a close.
I will hold my wife and bask in her warmth and make one final wish.
Sorry, but I can't share it with you. Happy New Year and see you next
* STEVE KAWARATANI is the owner of Landscapes by Laguna Nursery,
1540 S. Coast Highway in Laguna Beach. He is married to local artist,
Catharine Cooper, and has three cats. He can be reached at (949)
497-2438, or e-mail to email@example.com.