I was raised among the redwoods in the far north of California. We lived in a standard tract home from the 50s/60s, but looking out my bedroom window, my view was of the trunks and branches of redwood trees. My sister and I created playhouses in the stumps below our home. We grew up knowing the soft but rough bark of the trees, and the freedom of running through the forest.
And then we grew up and moved away.
Yesterday I was still far from home, but ensconced beneath another grove of redwoods on the San Mateo coast. The breakfast fire burned down to embers; Reil did the dishes. We took a walk down the road and up a trail to find a geocache – a wonderful, fun cache that was suspended from a tree. Jill and I hiked up and around the hills, through redwood forest, noting the changes in the ecosystems as we passed through.
It was good to be on the trail. I need the prep for going up hills – September’s climb into the Rockies will be here very soon.
And before dinner, I took a quick drive down to the ocean. To watch and hear the waves crash on the rocks, feel the setting sun and the cool breeze on my face. To marvel at the legion of wild flowers along the highway – all yellow and orange this week. Lupine, poppies, other blooms whose names I’ve either forgotten or never knew.
This wasn’t quite home, but it felt like it. And all of the stimuli for my senses – the shady groves, steep hills, pounding surf – served to drive away some of the melancholy I’ve been experiencing. The sadness still remains, but for a short period it had to take a back seat to a little bit of joy.