Scenes from a recent walk in Mt. Washington – a hillside neighborhood a few miles west of where I live. Home to hillside perches, tree-line streets, sweeping vistas, hidden canyons, and an iconic sense of LA-ness.
The Victorian Box trees are blooming here as they are across the city, filling the air with the fragrance of orange blossom and jasmine. Divine. I break off small branchlets and carry them home to jars of water so that I can breathe in the scent.
Every year since 1989 I have welcomed the blooming of the Victorian Boxes as some would appreciate the start of the Dodger’s opening season. I’m like a bloodhound out on my porch at night. Nose in the air, sniff sniff sniff. Until at last, the night arrives when the scent wafts up to me on a breeze. Usually it happens in late winter or early spring. The olfactory bliss this inspires can’t be overstated.
And in other news, I stumbled across a Thich Nhat Hanh video on Youtube.
“Home is an island. A place. You must row back to the island of SELF”
He may not have said,”row,” but that is how I heard it and it reminded me of all the row boat metaphors I’ve used in my writing and thinking over many years.
When I walk, I am in my rowboat on a kind of sea. Sailing homeward. Sometimes drifting, sometimes actively rowing. Moving through the world, feeling alive and awake. Released from the contents of my too-full head. Unless as it happens I carry them with me. That happens sometimes, but oh what peace when I can leave them behind!
That too is a daily practice. Trying to stay HERE in the moment. Nature is my guidepost. I get lost a lot and the connection unravels. It’s the work of a lifetime I guess.
Spring is especially bright and lovely this year.
I’ve had both doses of the vaccine.
New paths beckon.
There is so much
In between ZOOM school breaks I go outside and work in my garden.
I present here a postcard from that place.
I completed my last virtual walking adventure and have set out on another. Now I am trodding along the path of St. Francis from Florence to Rome. Everytime I go on a walk, I count those miles logged during exercise with my Apple Watch.
I’m referring to The Conqueror Challenges. You log your miles in the app and can see your location each day move along the route. My first challenge was The Camino de Santiago (480 miles) which took me from last May until late February of this year. They send you postcards along the way and a gorgeous big medal when you finish.
I’ll be spending a week at the coast soon. Enjoying the company of my vaccinated sister. My art practice has fallen by the wayside the last couple of weeks, but there is nothing like an art retreat to reboot the entire system. Looking so forward to that.
Let me know how you’re faring on your own journey of being here now. See you soon.