“I could not be a poet without the natural world…For me the door to the woods is the door to the Temple.”
In the early morning, mid-day and after dinner, Cecile and I and Jason’s dog Daisy set out on the walking trails literally steps from our door.
We are immediately transported to a happy place in the midst of a 100 acre wooded area we call home at Rinconada Hills.
We pass the cactus gardens I can see from my home office window, a plethora of mature shade trees that line the self-guided nature trails that traverses a wide variety of terrain.
The many tiny lizards flit about as they feel the vibration from out feet.
We could see and hear the mischievous squirrels shimmy straight up the tallest of trees in a way that defies gravity and then playfully jumping from branch to branch.
We see the many shy white cotton tail bunnies (we feared were wiped out by the coyotes) shift about trying to take cover as we draw near. The cherry trees and plum trees are bearing fruit, but too early to eat.
We climb the path to higher ground and then make our way down and around the pristine lake where the geese take their goslings for a swim when they are not grazing on
the grass. The aromatic smells from the pine and eucalyptus trees clears our sinuses.
Other than the few neighbors and their dogs we have come to know, we are alone to share the moment and majesty of this place. It reminds me of the poem by Mary Olliver called “When I Am Among the Trees,” that I have taken an exerpt from that goes like this:
"When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and pines,
they give off such hints of gladness,
I would almost say that they save me, and daily…
I never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say, “and you too have come into the world
to do this, to go easy, to be filled with light and shine.”