The Transfiguration

everything is sacred

Valley of the Day #2013

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Valley of the Day #2013

Laurel’s house here is part of a long suburban stream, but it overlooks a valley full of greenery, home to hawks and rattlesnakes. We went out for a walk around the neighborhood this afternoon, expecting a quick stroll to get some fresh air, but when Laurel found a dirt path leading toward the valley our walk transformed into a hike.

A line of eucalyptus trees lines one side of the valley, their bark peeled and blackened as if they’d been burned. Laurel suspected one might be the Sunset Tree she sees from home, so she called her mom to confirm the reversed perspective. She’d never been on this path before – we were surveying a stretch of land she’d seen many times, but never in person.

The path was itself was dusty and dry, and smelled like a desert; it had such a different feeling from the eucalyptus-rich smell of the Berkeley hills, or the rich redwoods in Santa Cruz. I’d like to walk through an oak forest too, to see how it fills the senses.

(Do oaks even grow in forests? Do their wide branches crowd each other too much for that?)

Dry rivulets are carved into the earth at one point, like the fossilized footprints of old streams. A few odd signs of civilization were there – a few cinderblocks, some carved wooden poles, a sign that promised a trail where there was none.

We made a few false starts heading back. Dead ends were common, as the place was hardly meant as a hiking trail, but that gave us plenty of opportunity to admire the strange alien plants growing everywhere.

We’re flying back tomorrow afternoon. Our visit is ending far too soon, as most visits do. It was lovely meeting Laurel’s family and seeing her old home – hopefully I can get to know it better later on.

dream well

Written by Umbrella Man

March 28, 2014 at 1:20 am

Posted in friends, people, places

Tagged with ,

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