by Ginny Riker
When I was 22 years old, I lived in Hermosa Beach, California. I rented a small studio in an apartment building right on the strand. The strand is what they called the wide cement sidewalk and thoroughfare that bordered the beach. I used to skate and ride my bicycle along the strand quite a bit in those days. It was a lovely and lively place to live back then, especially for a young, single woman like myself. I loved living close to the beach and the ocean.
Every once in a while, when I walked or rode my bicycle along the strand, I would notice an older man with a long white beard, sitting in the sand meditating, facing towards the ocean with his eyes closed. As time passed, I became more and more curious about this man. He was obviously an older gentleman. But, he was in such fine physical shape that he appeared to be younger. I would even say he was in superb physical shape. I later learned, quite by accident really, that he was almost an exact match, as far as looks go, for the late naturalist John Muir. I would sometimes see him early in the morning, jogging along the water’s edge, alone. In fact, I never saw him with anyone… until late one afternoon.
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