chocolate ice cream on quadricycles

solvang ephemera

SOLVANG, Santa Ynez Valley—Nestled in Santa Barbara County, in the triangle of highways I-101, I-154, and a sliver of green jutting out of Los Padres National Forest, sits a historic Danish village that always floats a very specific yet blurry childhood memory to the forefront of my mind. For a few minutes on the road my brain flips through several fingerprint smudged Polaroids of melting chocolate ice cream, curious windmills that peek over thatched rooftops, horse-drawn carriage rides and fancy quadricycles that cling to any exposed skin beneath cut-off shorts—oh, and way too many annoying cousins inciting petty quarrels for attention.

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r e t r e a t

It was beautiful spring weather, but neither dogs nor humans were aware of it. Each day the sun rose earlier and set later. It was dawn by three in the morning, and twilight lingered till nine at night. The whole long day was a blaze of sunshine. The ghostly winter silence had given way to the great spring murmur of awakening life. This murmur arose from all the land, fraught with the joy of living. It came from the things that lived and moved again, things which had been as dead and which had not moved during the long months of frost. The sap was rising in the pines. The willows and aspens were bursting out in young buds. Shrubs and vines were putting on fresh garbs of green. Crickets sang in the nights, and in the days all manner of creeping, crawling things rustled forth into the sun. Partridges and woodpeckers were booming and knocking in the forest. Squirrels were chattering, birds singing, and overhead honked the wild fowl driving up from the south in cunning wedges that split the air.

Jack London, The Call of the Wild

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s e i z e


There is an ecstasy that marks the summit of life, and beyond which life cannot rise. And such is the paradox of living, this ecstasy comes when one is most alive, and it comes as a complete forgetfulness that one is alive.

This ecstasy, this forgetfulness of living, comes to the artist, caught up and out of himself in a sheet of flame; it comes to the soldier, war-mad in a stricken field and refusing quarter; and it came to Buck, leading the pack, sounding the old wolf-cry, straining after the food that was alive and that fled swiftly before him through the moonlight.

Jack London, The Call of the Wild

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