Cambrian: Opinion

Nature’s medicine goes down easy here on the cusp of the wilderness

A California quail enjoys a little sunshine while perching on a post.
A California quail enjoys a little sunshine while perching on a post.

“Hurry,” I tell the dogs and cats when I open the door. “Don’t let the bugs in!”

It’s not the honeybees that surround the edge of the dog’s stainless steel bowl of water that bother me. I’m glad to see them. Apparently, they’re peaceful natives, not “killers.”

Bees I can deal with — yellow jackets, not so much. The past few weeks, every time I step outside, those biting bad boys seem to increase in numbers. I wouldn’t dare drink or eat in their presence lest I desired plumper lips. Those winged assailants are downright ornery. They, along with the triple-digit temperatures, and the pesky deer flies that go for the mouth, nostrils, eyes and ears — no wonder I hear Moonstone Beach beckoning.

August isn’t my favorite month in these Santa Lucia Mountains. And still, considering the big picture, a diminished water supply is way better than no water, and a few flies in the house are much better than no house.

Rattlesnakes, black widows, the occasional scorpion and ticks are simply a part of the package up here. Thankfully, they don’t prevail over the daily doses of nature’s “prescriptions” that do something wonderful for my insides. I mean, who wouldn’t benefit from watching dawn’s early light brighten the horizon, or lavender-gray cumulus clouds drift overhead, or a covey of quail scurry, stop, scratch and peck among my free-range chickens?

That’s the beauty of being in these mountains or anywhere along our coastline. From here, we catch glimpses of wildlife and scenery that give us giddy twinges of delight.

When we pay attention to our natural environment, when we notice an otter crack a shell, a bobcat chase a mouse, or a fawn follow a hen around the barnyard, that, my friends, is medicinal — effective wholesome nourishment for the body, mind and spirit.

Despite the things that bug us, here is where we can inhale the scent of pine on the breeze, and allow gratitude to fill us to capacity — yes, sometimes a fly gets sucked in there, too — no worries, just cough and sputter until it’s dislodged from the back of the throat, or take a big swig and it’s down the hatch. After that, proceed with gusto.

Resume remedy. Peek at the moon through branches that serve as nature’s dream catchers.

Marvel at the unfathomable enormity of the universe. Follow that with a deep exhalation. Oh yeah, life is good.