Nature is a luxury.

I grew up surrounded by nature at its most dramatic: Pine trees that tapered into the far-away, Mt. Rainier booming in the distance, Dusky layers of purple, The deep, green scent brought out by infinite forms of falling rain.

Los Angeles is many things, but natural isn’t the first word I would use to describe it. Which is fine. A city doesn’t have to be every thing. 

When C and I escape to our Shangri-La, we arrive desperate for simplicity and elements. Here, the main concerns are heat – food – relax – sleep. And for the past month, we haven’t had working internet, so those things became even more vivid. 

But today, Jimmy, Verizon Hero, found his way out (ALL BY HIMSELF) and dammit, he actually fixed the problem. Don’t get C started on the depravity of corporate call centers and the bleak void of intelligence.

Both of us have seen the small lamp of insight, however. We now know what it’s like to function out here without a strong connection to The Outside World. Of course, it’s pretty fantastic. Our lost horizon, found.

I love living in DTLA. I love the chaos and the construction and the freakishly fast rejuvenation of the entire neighborhood. But when my mind is on the verge of explosion, coming out here calms everything down. C and I giggle with delight. 

There’s a Japanese expression Shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, that is a practice medicinal at the very least and deeply transformative at best. This is what we are afforded, out here amid the rocks and earth and trees, at the edge of the wilderness. This is a luxury so profound it renders us speechless.

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