Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Wrote this one time when we went riding:

Sunday April 30, 2006

I never thought I would see a better spring day than this day in sunny Northern California. The hills were covered in a pelt of green fur that was not so much luscious and quenched but slightly parched for the summer-like weather and the recent, sudden absence of rainfall. The grasses were still as yet un-yellowed, un-burnt by the unforgiving sunshine, so they remained greenish-yellow and long, swaying in the gentle breezes that flowed through the hills from the Pacific Ocean and over the Peninsula ridges.

There were cars of all forms: weekend, sports, SUVs, sedans, beat-up trucks and RVs, which sped around the windy one-lane roads of Highways 92 towards Highway 35. There was the occasional big rig, carrying much sought-after refined petroleum to fill the bellies of the gas monsters which we have unintentionally come to depend our lives on. There were also creatures on two wheels zipping about: the Ducatis, Harleys, Kawasakis, Yamahas, Hondas, BMWs, Aprilias...Hundreds of times more powerful than horses, each rider confident and sure-footed upon their steeds, some carrying passengers, some galloping alone.

The springtime weather brings with it colors and new blossoms the likes of which I had not noticed before. I saw patches of lavender violets, pale but so numerous they appeared to form wispy miniature clouds of bluish fog over the grasses. There were many bushes sprouting with flowers of mango-yellow, unnamable, but everywhere, amongst the trees, on the sharp cliffs between the roads, and on the fields between the hills and precipices of Highway 1, where land meets ocean. Occasionally, I saw clusters of bright persimmon-colored tulips, startling in their brilliance that they appeared as lucious fruit. Even along the roads of Foster City Blvd, I saw royal purple sunflow-like blooms on the sidewalk, filling the streets with a color that was not present when I moved there last July.

And within the forests of Highway 35, there were white dandelions, small and quaint like little children, with yellow buds in the center of the petal plumes. Much of the green consisted of ivy - weed-like and pond-like. Some were of the ancient equinas species, the indomitable horse-tail, which tried to outgrow the ivy wherever possible.

The smell of dryness, grass, horses, fuel...they melded together as we zipped through what was left of the natural landscape from the memories of William Randolph Hearst and Robert Louis Stevenson. The land is marred now by giant grey snakes that have laid themselves all over the hills and through the valleys and crevices; these snakes with their great yellow bands along their backs, bright and in stark contrast to the uniform greenness of the forest which remains, and across their backs ride the gas monters and two-wheeled horses of new. Power lines and telephone wires drape lazily across the trees, so that when I stare across the acres of endless green, my line of sight is regrettably interrupted by those sizzling cables.

Yet the advent of technology and industry cannot mar the beauty of the Peninsula ridges. Daily in summer, giant white fingers curl over the ridges as the ocean fog lays down over the land to sleeps, as the world goes to sleep as well. And when the dawn arrives, and the fog lifts itself from the trees, the dark-green crowns of the earth gleam with moisture and vigor, for these deciduous trees - oak, redwood, birch, fir, and pine - never fade with winter, nor do they wither under the summer heat.

I do not want to regret never seeing these sights. I picture myself thus: leather-clad, helmet in ahdn, standing upon the edge of a cliff that overlooks the vast rolling hills. My steed stands silent behind me, quiet, engine hot. My fellow rider(s) beside me. And as we stand together, staring into the setting Californian sun, who keeps her appointment with the residents of the Orient, a sense of peace and joy are mixed with the melancholy I feel at witnessing such silent glory.

All works are the original creations of the author (me), and should not be reproduced without adequate citation of the writer.


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