Overlooking Monterey Bay by brilliant starlight. Cold as all get-out – colder than it should be, but then, we’ve had snow in the hills how many times this winter already? Not a normal winter, at least not one where “should be” carries much truck.

Here for a couple of days on an offsite training seminar: get a bunch of coworkers together, watch ourselves to see how we solve problems. Compare and contrast over a few beers by a warm fire looking out over the cold sea. Good team-building exercise, and a good team. Reminds me why, in spite of the chaos and confusion, I still love this company. But, note to self: next time you sign up for a workshop at a seaside luxury resort on the California coast, don’t do it in February, okay?

I have always loved this coast, though. I’ve never really been a Californian, never felt like I belonged in this state, but the rugged beauty of the natural beaches up the coast is undeniable. Maybe “beach” isn’t the right word. “Beach,” to most people, conjures images of sand and suntanned bikinis basking on a lazy afternoon, punctuated by ice cream and a refreshing dip in the waves.

This coast is different. The wind and driftwood speaks desolation. Pebbles worn to coarse sand from the crumbling rock walls that rise above the narrow shore paint a story of the ancient march of the sea. Slowly, patiently, inexorably, it conquers all.

Some serious Tao in that sea, and tonight it’s beautiful. Tomorrow, we go off to tromp around the redwoods and learn to trust each other not to (accidentally) drop us. Or at least to act horrified and contrite if we do.

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