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So yesterday afternoon the wife, kids and I headed up to Huntington Beach to grab some coffee from Catherine’s favorite spot, then walk around the strip along the beach. Everything about the day was blissful—celebrating America’s best mother (no exaggeration), the weather (75 and sunny, with a slight breeze), the food (Vietnamese). We were together, hanging out, shooting the shit, strolling along …

And then we ran into the above image.

And experienced a moment.

Hard to fully explain, but I’ll try: I’d say, oh, 15 people were there, playing drums and myriad instruments of different genres. They weren’t a band. There was no singer. They arrived at different times. One guy was blowing into a large shell. A woman handed my son Emmett a spare drum. Four young women just started dancing. Folks were sitting along a ledge, clapping, stomping feet. The air smelled of sea and popcorn. Dudes on skateboards rolled past. Tourists (but not a ton of them) snapped photos. All different ages—young girls, old men. Drumming. Humming. Whistling.

Truly, it was one of the most joyfully organic things I’ve ever been a part of. No one was asking for money. No one was throwing out requests. If you wanted to play, you played. If you wanted to listen, you listened.

Ultimately, we had to leave.

With bliss.

Jeff Pearlman is a writer.