On the last day of celestial, and earthly, equilibrium for 2012, Fern and I went to Lobos Creek Trail in the Presidio.
Less than one meandering mile, the boardwalk twines through coastal dune and oak scrub that has been replanted and restored. The area went from utter industrial devastation, to thriving oasis. Far below the trail, Lobos Creek, the last free flowing (at least for now, since more creeks will be daylighted soon) offers life giving waters. Ansel Adams, who grew up near by, used to explore the Lobos valley area as a child.
In the Spring, the area is rampant with wildflowers and butterflies, but now in Fall there is only the rattly hush of dried seeds and falling leaves. Like Moonshine Heather’s recent posts about September’s Saving Graces, I find equal beauty in the late life cycle of plants. The landscape is not full of the usual cacophony of voices, but there is a satisfied lull, reminiscent of the relaxed pause after the last crash of cymbals, or the last coat of paint on a craft project. 😉
I pointed out the fuzzy tops of these dried grasses to Fern, and she began collecting a bouquet. I don’t know what they are, but we dubbed them “Rabbit Tails” and I’m satisfied with that.
We completed our walk through the low desert, and then climbed up into the trees.
We found a secret meeting place, obviously used previously by a council of Elves, or perhaps Dryads.
We played Goldilocks and tried out each seat.
Ducky did too.
Fern has many cute stuffies, hand picked by Mama and Papa and relatives, all creatively inspiring and adorable. So which one does she attach to? The .99 cent duck that we randomly handed her at the goodwill.
Ducky is the depository for all her love…and also an incredible amount of aggression. Exhibit A.
We left the arena and wandered back into the woods. I found another spot for council…
But Fern said, They’re not seats, they’re drums!
We played for a long while, and began singing too. I sang her some of my favorite old-timey tunes, and then we began “channeling” the songs of the trees, picking a specific Ent and giving voice to its tune.
I feel so hopeful whenever I visit (or work in) a natural area that is undergoing care and revitalization. There are many factions of those in power who want us to think that restoring our wilderness is too costly, too hard, too problematic. We’ve already destroyed that forest, that wetland, that mountainside, so let’s just give it over to capital interests and let it go. Yet I’ve seen time and again how, with even just minimal care and support, the life system of any being, be it person, animal, garden or ecosystem, bounces back with renewed energy in its quest for wholeness.
For that is what we all are doing, even in our darkest hours or most misguided ways…our systems are trying to right themselves, like a bug flipped onto its back. Our psyches do this when we infuriate ourselves by “repeating patterns”, trying something again and again to complete an interrupted cycle, hoping to finally get it right. Give an ecosystem a nudge in the right direction, and even the most abused landscape can return to ecological wholeness. Perhaps most of all, it requires trust in basic goodness. We can cut ourselves a break and realize that, although perhaps the actions we are choosing are not helpful or kind, they still are the movements of a child’s heart, attempting to navigate out of the forest. For the forest, it is about inviting that basic goodness to re-emerge, to offer seeds a foothold in eroding soil.
Thank you for your kind and loving-hearted responses to my last post! I was so blown out by the time we finished it, that I couldn’t even quite “see” it anymore. I was like I think this is really cool, but I also can no longer tell. So your feedback was uplifting and regenerating. Thank you friends.