Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Reaching for the Sun ~ July 25, 2012

I grew up in Mill Valley on the middle ridge of Mt. Tamalpais, a magical mountain to all who climb her slopes. My girlfriends and I spent countless hours in the woods hiking and exploring: fire roads, deer paths, creeks, the old rail bed of the Crookedest Railroad in the World, and the ruins of old inns and cabins that had burned in the 1929 fire. It was better than any modern day amusement park. The only criteria from our parents was to look out for each other and be home by dark.

It continues to be foggy in Stinson Beach so we decide on a trip up Mt. Tam for a picnic and walk. Sure enough we break into sunshine just before we get to the end of the road at the top. Perfect!

Blue sky at last!

The fog hovers to the west, but it's warm on the bench where we have lunch before taking the trail around the crest. The views are spectacular. There is such a simple and serene beauty here it captures the heart. While doing a little research, I found this wonderful poem by poet and artist J.L. Stanley.
Fire Trail at Midnight on Mt. Tam

I walk by starlight
Up the winding fire-trail
Between sandstone and scrub oak,
Up to the edge of a terrible cliff
And listen to the waves break
So far below.

The stars explode here
Away from the city glare,
They skitter and hiss
Making me gasp
As they fall from the sky.

I feel several thousand years
Younger, as I pause,
Closed in and breathless
On this moonless night wondering
When I had forgotten the sea
And the stars and roads that wind slowly.

And if I could believe
This road would lead
To other roads and on and on
It would be enough.

Me thinks the next time we ascend the robes of Tamalpa it will be by the dark of no moon. The State Park closes at dusk but some of my childhood haunts and trails are no doubt still in existence.