Deviating from the usual push up the hill, we splashed through the stream into the grove of live oaks. The cool breeze rustled the leaves. The stream trickled over rocks and leaves. We followed the faint trail through the high grass into another grove. Gnarled bark, twisted branches, thickets of thistles, their prickly flowers closed tight, showing just a mohawk of purple.
Hanging from a branch was a board threaded with rope. The packed earth below gave way to the stream. I remembered rope swings of the past, the feeling the same at any age. Back-kicking to gain more speed and using trapeze leg swinging techniques to gain more lift.
Leaving the shady grove, we twisted through the chaparral filled with all kind of prickly plants. Rounding a bend, we came upon a hidden valley. It was filled with the buzzing of bees pollinating the wild sage covering the hillsides. I love breathing in the hot sweet smell of the chaparral. Resting in silence on a rock outcropping, I took in the moments. A buzzing and chirp alerted me to the hummingbird quietly sitting on a bush branch nearby. Gnats and bugs were buzzing everywhere. Pup and I sat back to back taking in the view. Silently sitting, moving only to breath. (Have you felt the descent of non-movement, pure silence taking over your body?) Observing, fully connected.
A perfect (jaunty) view of the Hollywood sign, just beyond the hillside of yellow daisies. The wildness unbroken by the helicopter and private jets taking off from Burbank over the hill. I am amused, as I always am in these moments, at the pocket of wildness in the middle of the city.
Returning to the path for a mere moment, we splash in the stream, paws wet running along the edge, jumping from rock to rock. I remember the streams in my Iowa wilderness as a teenager. The fields I'd find past the treeline. Our cat, Roadha June, sleek and black who would come on these hikes to caves and cemeteries hidden on hillsides.
Those paths are deep in the past. Today I have visited a hot hillside, filled with buzzing bees, blooming sage, a resting hummingbird and groves of Live Oak. We trot back to the car and dry off our paws. Five minutes later, I'm in the thick of things on Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles has many costumes in her wardrobe, and this is why I love her.