Seven Falls Time is a thin veil here, where the mountain plays catch with the creek tossing it into the air seven times and bringing it to rest in seven cold emerald pools. It is fun to imagine all of the others who have climbed this sandstone jungle gym and slid down these mossy water slides… Look at these shadows of Chumash kids laughing here hundreds of years ago as if it were yesterday. What do they call the “cannonball” in a world of stone tools, I wonder, as they leap from that ledge with a splash long before Fremont’s soldiers pushed cannons over muddy San Marcos Pass. Look at those Franciscan monks sneaking upstream from the Mission below through the oaks and sycamores to strip down and lighten up long before the city sprouted below and oil platforms invaded the horizon. And look now at the evolution of the swimsuit styles that the swimmers have donned here for the last hundred years, from striped long-underwear to bikinis on the families of ranchers, fishermen, oil workers and now suburbanites and college kids. They appear and disappear in strobe light flashes like an old grainy filmstrip before these lovely pools. Different swimmers on common ground… We’re all still here in one form or another, the natives and the pioneers. We’ve all come to bring out our inner amphibian— to dive beneath the cold living water with our much older ancestors the frogs and salamanders… Feels so good, doesn’t it? …to crawl out on our bellies and warm our blood on these radiant sandstone benches freckled here and there with fossils.