Nor Cal Getaway

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It’s good to get away, to drive a couple hours north, to rent a room with a big ranch yard, a big orchard sky, a big yellow moon rising over hilltops, barbed-wire fencing glinting by the road.

A rooster cocks at dawn, calling out to crickets and frogs, the ground all green this early spring with March rains behind us.

I think of other artists, slipping away at dawn to the fields, setting up easels, writing their visions with color and line.

I join them now, clumsy with supplies, learning to keep the sun off my neck, to pencil-sketch quickly, to gently dab a sepia line, to stick with dry watercolor sticks, the texture and touch of the sketchbook pages.

Dry pigments without any water perfectly quench the still thirsty earth.