California musings – Part 1

What can I say about California (a mini-series)

That first day in December of driving the van up and over the Ashland pass wondering if it would make it up several thousand feet, and then miles of tiring driving in the fog and rain with the unfamiliar noise of the VW engine piercing my brain, had made me wonder if I was insane to start this journey. But as Oregon faded behind and the fog suddenly cleared to reveal the white snow topped volcano of Mount Shasta, 14000 feet against a clear blue sky, California greeted us with her sunny smile and we were captivated.

Since then the van and I have been stunned by the foothills of mountain ranges with their angular profiles that are brought into full contrast by the sun at a certain times of the day more than any other. I am mesmerized by the shape of the ridgebacks and valleys that tell of ancient geological ages, with names that I’ve long forgotten, that speak volumes about the earth and its fits and starts, of its turmoil and plates rubbing up against each other to form a landscape that defies description.

Between the central valley and the coast, the roads are narrow and steep with hairpin bends galore, reminding me of Italy. Only the giant Redwood trees and vast forests make me realize I am on a different continent, yet the valleys of vines and olive trees evoke memories of my Italian heritage and I wonder if it’s true that my grandmother’s family had vineyards near Le Pastinelle and Cassino.

I spend an idyllic Christmas and New Year in nature of the most glorious proportions. Hundreds of acres of virgin Redwood trees, ferns, mosses and mushrooms provide a sanctuary of peace and quiet for my prayers and appreciations. A creek outside my window gurgles and chuckles and my log fire crackles and warms my bones.

Walks with new friends introduce me to flora and fauna, the likes of which I have not seen before in the damp dew of the forest. My blog and photos and videos cannot do them justice. I am thrilled on the first rainy morning when I walk outside to see black newts walking in the undergrowth; four of them marching in unison towards a target invisible to the human eye. I make a video of these yellow-bellied creatures but I can in no way capture the magic of the moment.

One day I am taken up to the top of the canyon to where the forest has been cleared. Wild horses canter and roam to their hearts content. No wonder my host decided to release her horse from its confines to join her brothers and sisters here, where the sun lights up the top of the earth. Acres and acres of pastures spread out and below us with only one house and barn visible to the naked eye.

I am told that the legendary horse Seabiscuit lived one valley away and I’m also treated to the sight of my friends clipping the hooves of three horses that they have taken ages to entice into the paddock. They were more than an hour standing quietly and patiently to build trust between human and horse, whispering in the spiritual realm that connects man and beast. The tension and connection were palpable.

As I write, I wonder … will my connection with my readers be instant or will I have to wait quietly and patiently … will my whispers in the spirit world be heard?

(Written by Carole Brown on 25 March 2010 about the period 20 December 2009 to 4 January 2010)

Advertisements

3 Responses

  1. Nice to read about your time in the redwoods! And now it’s spring 🙂

  2. What a beautiful inspiring piece of writing! Lovely way for me to start the day 😀 xxxxxxxx

  3. I love the picture of the wild horses!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: