Chasing Down The Muse: Thankful for beautiful, but mild, summer days

"…gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder."

—G.K. Chesterton


Have you used one of the 86,400 seconds gifted to you today to say, "Thank you?"

Fortune smiles on us.

Hot, hot, hot! Seemingly everywhere else it is hot enough to cook eggs on the sidewalk, while here we bask in gorgeous days of mild warmth, cool breezes and clear skies. Seas that reflect the sparkle of the sun on the surface wash the sandy shore while pelicans drift in large flocks overhead.

Sure, summers in Laguna Beach can be a bit hectic, but the joys that greet us at every turn are nothing less than thrilling to behold.

Leaving the Sawdust Festival a bit early one night last week, I headed straight for Trader Joe's, hoping to squeeze in some shopping before they closed. As I rounded the curve just past Emerald Bay, I gasped at the beauty of the light on the water and the rocky shore at Crystal Cove.

It was an opalescent panorama like no other. The longing to stop right there in the middle of the road was strong. Luckily for me, good sense prevailed. But it is just this sort of awesome wonder we are greeted with each day. Lucky us!

Is it any wonder that there are so many artists and artisans living and working here in Laguna? With so much beauty around, the longing to create something cannot help but work its way to the surface. To be met each day with these vistas spurs one on, even while sometimes distracting.

I have noticed an abundant number of visitors from states nearby that are traditionally hot at this time of year, like Arizona and Nevada. This year, visitors from other parts of the country are complaining about the heat in their hometowns while relishing our own cool breezes and mild temperatures. Daily, in conversations with these folks on the Sawdust Festival grounds, I am reminded of all for which we have to be grateful.

Raucous crows, twittering wrens and finches join me in greeting each breaking of the sun over the eastern horizon with exuberance. The glory of the setting sun painting the skies in the west cause most of us to stop and gape in awe as we pass. Moonlight glistens on the dark ocean creating a path that captures our eyes at the end of a long, hard day of work or play.

How can we not be grateful for all this? Yet, even as I write this, even as I am expressing my gratitude, I am reminded that the highest form of appreciation is to live by our words of thanks.

With that in mind, I am cutting this column short to get out in nature and listen to the birds, feel the breeze on my cheek, the sun warming my skin. A walk along the sandy shore with waves lapping nearby, gulls' laughter in my ears, and the glimmering sparkle of the sea will fill me up with happiness.

In this second, I give thanks.

CHERRIL DOTY is an artist, writer, counselor…always fascinated, inspired and titillated by the beauty and mysteries of life. She can be reached at or (714) 745-9973.

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World