Monday, January 15, 2018

January Memories in the Mountains of Southern California

Today is the anniversary of our mom’s death three years ago. It’s also Martin Luther King Day. I’m not sure there’s a connection, but it’s good to remember both.

I’m sitting in a folding chair up in the rocks, overlooking one of my favorite views here: rocky hills and mountains in the foreground, then some desert and the Salton Sea below, and more mountains and the sky in the background. Sure, there’s some freeway noise immediately below, but it’s fun to select a few colorful semi-trucks heading around the mountain, watch them disappear on the other side of the mountain by Mountain Springs, then emerge going down the steep grade on the other side. In eight more miles they’ll be in the desert. They now look tiny, so it’s important to choose the brightly colored ones as they’re more visible. This afternoon there have been a lot of car carriers.

It’s a good sunny afternoon to read Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer. I just started the book, but was reminded about some wonderful experiences more than 35 years ago, when my daughters were still very young (our now-thirty-year-old son hadn’t been born yet.)

The girls and I spent lots of time climbing around rocks and through brush, searching for frogs and picking blackberries. It was so much fun finding the polliwogs and tiny frogs in small pools of water. We always let them go. We’d finally head back home, covered with purple juice, our stomachs full of delicious berries.

It’s a very simple memory, but an important one. Sometimes I wish life could be that simple again.

The sun is starting to set and it’s getting cooler up here at 3,000 feet, probably time to gather up my stuff and head back to the RV. But, the view and the memories will last forever.

No comments: