This was the morning: camellias and oak trees. And koi ponds, a small, very green lake with coots and mallards drifting, a Japanese garden with an unattended snack bar my son immediately took over, stepping behind the counter (which came up to his nose), ordering me to order french fries and a hangaburger, then ordering me to speak to his bird (which he ‘materialized’ from a refrigerator that wouldn’t open). He held the bird out to me on his hand. When I took the bird with my forefinger and spoke to it, he took it back with his forefinger and gave it many kisses. Oh, life. 8 years ago if someone had showed me this little scene? I wouldn’t have believed it. Miracles abound. In wastelands, in previously established routines, in Los Angeles. And I don’t know what the bejeezus it is about oak trees, but they are magic. They calm me, shutting down panic-bits I wasn’t even aware I was harboring. When there are enough oaks to make a puzzle of the sky, I can’t help but stop and gaze and listen. Old and snaggle-leaved, kinked branches wending with a surprising grace—a definite peace transfers to the gazer…Someday I hope whatever house we live in is surrounded by oak trees, indefinitely.