Monday, Oct. 16, 2006 @ 2:26 pm
Here again the big leaf maples, leaves under my feet, rain sheeting down around me. Home. We drove for miles under blue skies, past fragrant groves of twisted oaks, eucalyptus, and golden grasses. We drive through the redwoods. Their straight tall trunks like elephant legs unmoving, but moving my heart all the same.
If there were a God this would be God's land, my God's land, if only briefly, because the wind and the waves wash over and change it daily. The bluffs are golden at this time of day, at this time of year, with the sun so low in the sky. I run along the gravel road underneath the shimmering bluffs. Dunes between me and the sea. I'd forgotten how great it is to run in the country.
There were elk in the area. I could smell them on the wind, deep in the dune grass growing between me and the water. It's ok though, because if I can smell them then they can smell me.
I run up towards Fern Canyon. There's nobody there. Into the canyon, the swaying five-fingered ferns, oh God the ferns, brushing over me, my eyes, the skies are hidden and the walls drip into the rushing stream that I'm kneeling beside. I wash my face in the perfect waters, forest filtered clear water, maybe this is the fountain of youth and you're Tuck Everlasting and I love you and we'll love forever in a magical place like this.
Opening my eyes, blinking away droplets of water, and the place is still there. I can't believe it. But it's true. I memorize it fern by fern and drink up all the water I can hold before the sunlight disappears into the sea. I leave the canyon and run straight through the dune grass to the sand and run back towards camp on the wave-hardened sand. The sun is so low that it illuminates the cresting waves from behind. Sea-green waves, transparent, and pelicans pass by riding the wind rising from each rolling undulation.
This is California. I leave the state with eucalyptus staining my hands and freckles staining my face.