I had woven my way further up the creek than most evenings in search of discovery and inspiration, but couldn’t think of something to write about. So I stopped thinking and sat down on a block of water polished schist which was cool and dry, but shall soon become the raised center of a five foot wide seasonal weir of joyously overflowing, rippling, bubbling, singing hypnotically, sky-given water element. It is a comfortable support for my sitting contemplative (lol) body, with my feet slightly lower than a chair, while facing the soon to carve and curve its way out of sight point about 30′ downstream.
The exposed roots, occasional clinging tufts of dried coiled licorice fern, boulders and pebbles, and a rock strewn but walkable creek bed, all exposed by eons of erosion, – except where you have to clamber over fallen trunks and branches, while practicing a kind of asymmetric yoga to avoid the now nearly bare poison oak brush which reaches out for you – adorn both banks.
I am seated at the bottom of this sinuous slot in the Earth on one level, while my feet rest upon the next long lower step, which doesn’t drop again within eyesight anywhere as abruptly as my seat. The largest drops I’ve seen in these neighboring creeks are about six feet. To my right the grey-brown wall of soil rises abruptly to 10,’ and the reddish-brown left shoulder to 6′; both then continuing to rise more gently up the opposing hillsides.
It has grown dark as I typed, and I am reminded that I’m a ways uphill from my usual, or unusual, copse of tree muses. Making this more rewarding is the chillingly enjoyable Coyote duet at the top of the canyon, with a strong solo component that has gone on longer than is common. It’s close enough to ring like high-tuned reeds in the woods above my head. This (which is still going on and feels like a warm massage to the heart) came as a sort of thrilling segue to just having noticed the cold softened, funneled to me as a muted high pitched sigh; audio net of the near perennial backdrop of crickets.
The moon struck Canid has finally quieted its passion. An airliner low enough to be on approach to SFO just rumbled overhead on a north to south path and is finally out of my range of hearing.
Had I just arrived from elsewhere knowing nothing about the significance of anything in my surroundings, I would figure out pretty quickly that there’s nothing nearby that’s good for hitting your head on, there is water of some sort present, and what is above me has at least two components: a random pattern of of scratchy patches and streaks of a faint neutral gray which might be either a dim light source or solid color on a black background, And this steady head wrap of the cricket’s atmospheric caress.
Add the amazing recital of something sounding like a trilling Native American flute, which the imaginary me didn’t know was a wood pigeon…
Now I have to navigate myself down to base camp with my phone light. The time has changed back to standard time and it feels two hours later than this time yesterday.
Before getting up, several large sounding dry leaves fell on the rocks just to the right of my boots. I turned the light down on them and then over my head, revealing different parts of the same poison oak bush.
I will have to get past worse, soft stepping it out of here, wanting mostly to not feel a thin twiggy swiping of my cheek, and its only a minor addition to the frustration of not thinking about anything to write about, as I rise from this unusually rectilinear thick slab of rock, a little cold and stiff.
The same night, while seated with Hari, I was honored to meet Merlin the Wood Rat for the first time. But that is another story I haven’t thought about how to tell yet.