Birds play games. Of course they do. At Sepiessa Point a cluster of black birds moves about the air like a school of fish. They change direction as one and shapeshift at will; a jellyfish, horse’s head, grandma Jane, the patterns becoming lighter and darker depending on the density of the flock.

A smaller cluster of birds hovers at the treetops edge. The groups merge and then disappear beneath the horizon line, the whoosh of their exit the only sound on an otherwise still afternoon.

Nature plays games too. A single scrub oak leaves the others in the glen behind. It is taller, wider and filled with so many perfect limbs it is as if an entire Girl Scout troop could hold a meeting seated among the branches. In summer the tree hides this bounty behind a wall of foliage. But now, in December, when nature turns the volume down on its more overt beauty, the grays and browns tend to dominate. It takes a slower pace and softer step to see it all.

John Muir, the great naturalist, once said, “When one tugs at a single thing in nature he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”

Take the quote one step further and the tug not only reaches the rest of the world but also the rest of ourselves, stretching back to our first glimpse, crawl, or unsteady toddler steps. To walk with nature is to be reminded that we are nature too. No amount of allegiance to technology, today’s most lustful suitor, will ever change this.