Chasing Down the Muse: Taking a moment for mom and nature

Misty tendrils of fog drifted over the tops of the ridges as reminders of the earlier gray mass that had enveloped the coastline hills.

Two swooping hawks circled above, on the hunt as the mist lifted to clear the view of their prey. Mourning doves below sounded their plaintive calls in juxtaposition to the spirited chatter of wrens and finches in the trees.

It promised to be a glorious day here in Laguna Beach — "just another day in paradise," as locals are fond of saying.

Returning from my morning walk along the foggy shore, I struggled to keep my mind in these moments and enjoy their beauty, but the to-do list struggled for precedence. We are midway through this spring month of May already — it's just hard to believe!

Breathe. Relax. Listen. Let go and savor the moment. Do we even need to ask why?

Mother's Day found the extended family all together at my mother's home in Palm Desert. My three grandsons, as usual, took very little time to warm up to their girl cousins as they all frolicked in the saltwater pool.

Looking around at the faces of the adults, it seemed there was a lot of letting go, a lot of savoring. The heat of the day even helped to slow us into the moment as we lolled about, simply enjoying each other's company.

The shift probably started the minute we all began to pack up for the road trips home to Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and, of course, Laguna. Back to the busyness of our daily lives. Back to the lists.

We had spoken of summer plans, and now there are preparations for all to make as we move forward. New York for several weeks for one family; Africa on a mission for another; San Antonio for the summer for yet another. Summer camps and work round out the highlights for each family.

Yup! Just normal, busy lives.

For me, I will stick around here and enjoy some more of the "paradise," I think. Of course, that doesn't mean there is no busy planning going on. The summer festivals are coming and, in fact, we pick our Sawdust Art Festival booth spots this week. Year-round Sawdust Studio Art Classes continue with new additions. It is an exciting time.

Still, those misty tendrils lazily drifting remind me that with sanctuary and rest, we can prepare to go forth again. These brief moments are essential.

Savor them. I know I will.

CHERRIL DOTY is an artist, writer and director of the Sawdust Studio Art Classes in Laguna Beach. Always fascinated, inspired and titillated by the beauty and the ever-changing mysteries of life, she can be reached at or by phone at (714) 745-9973.

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