Wednesday, June 20, 2007
reflections on my mountain
“The Stars” (excerpt) – Robinson Jeffers
There gently through its wilderness drops
That River of the South I have loved so well
That heart and sense ache for it, – nor alone
High in the North are peaks and wilderness,
Deep woods and waters pale,
That always my remembering spirit possesses,
Mine by the love I bear them, O my own! …
There also does my ghost yet loiter; there
Some echo of my song
Yet lingers; …
And in full summer above their fern-grown fountains
I have been so glad that joy became a prayer, –
Among the pines of mighty cone, dark firs,
And mountain cedars, musical whisperers, –
And every thought was good, every breath sacred there.
Jeffers, R. (1974.) The Alpine Christ. Cayucos Books.
Rode up Brown Mountain again yesterday afternoon. It was slightly cooler and clearer. Still pretty hot, though – mid-eighties-ish. Sometimes you can see the ocean from up at the top. I thought I might get a glimpse of it today, but the marine layer (of clouds) was obscuring the view. On the afternoons that you can see the ocean it often looks red because of some sunset-smog-refraction phenomenon or something like that. I’ll try to get a picture some time. It’s cool.
I didn’t bring the camera today. I wanted to go light. (I didn’t bring my lock either because I didn’t want to be tempted to drop by the pub after the ride like I did last week. Five Guinness was not a good recovery dinner.) When I got to the top I saw the most beautiful pinecone hanging from what I think might be a Coulter pine - based on the size of the cone. This cone looked fairly young. All of its seed segments were still closed tightly. It was mostly green, but just starting to fade through varying levels of yellow – very multicolored. Clear sap was dripping out of each of its little hooks. Each of these droplets of sap was shining in the sun and reflecting the whole world back at me. It was so full of life. It was glorious.
The photo is from last weeks ride. It shows the route to the peak of Brown (and lots of blooming Yucca and a few of the pines.) The peak itself is not in the photo – it’s further off to the right. There’s only an animal track that heads up the ridgeline. I think it’s about another two miles. It’s a rough route. I’ve only been all the way up there once – about ten years ago. I’d like to go there again sometime. Nobody ever goes up there. It’s a very wild place. I feel like it’s been calling me back. That mountain has a deep soul.