Seven Falls Time is a thin veil here, where the mountain plays catch with the creek tossing it into the air seven times and bringing it to rest in seven cold emerald pools. It is fun to imagine all of the others who have climbed this sandstone jungle gym and slid down these mossy water slides… Look at these shadows of Chumash kids laughing here hundreds of years ago as if it were yesterday. What do they call the “cannonball” in a world of stone tools, I wonder, as they leap from that ledge with a splash long before Fremont’s soldiers pushed cannons over muddy San Marcos Pass. Look at those Franciscan monks sneaking upstream from the Mission below through the oaks and sycamores to strip down and lighten up long before the city sprouted below and oil platforms invaded the horizon. And look now at the evolution of the swimsuit styles that the swimmers have donned here for the last hundred years, from striped long-underwear to bikinis on the families of ranchers, fishermen, oil workers and now suburbanites and college kids. They appear and disappear in strobe light flashes like an old grainy filmstrip before these lovely pools. Different swimmers on common ground… We’re all still here in one form or another, the natives and the pioneers. We’ve all come to bring out our inner amphibian— to dive beneath the cold living water with our much older ancestors the frogs and salamanders… Feels so good, doesn’t it? …to crawl out on our bellies and warm our blood on these radiant sandstone benches freckled here and there with fossils.
I made this painting last Friday at the ribbon cutting for the newly re-opened farm stand at Fairview Gardens. I was painting with artist friends Chris Potter http://chrispotterart.blogspot.com and Kit Boise-Cossart http://kitboise-cossart.com. Stop by when you get a chance and pick up some beautiful locally grown produce. The paintings are for sale in the stand and half of the proceeds benefit the education programs at the farm.
I’ve tired of this sitting while wishing I were walking or walking while wishing for a rest. Seems whichever I choose, I can’t have my druthers my feet are doing one while my head does another. They’re not birds of a feather but I’ll bring them together by flying while still in my nest. So, here I am walking with my shoes in my pack so my feet can be felt by the ground. I’m thanking the thorns and the sharpest of rocks for reminding my head to slow down. I’m not in a hurry, cause I’m already here, the destination’s the journey, you know, I’m just standing here rolling this earth ‘neath my toes, like an immense beach ball spinning below. I’m letting the trail do the hiking for me while this large grove of aspens glides by, or now letting these switchbacks switch right back below me awaiting the approach of the sky. Oh the people I meet as our trails intertwine rekindle all faith in mankind, I enjoy those who ramble impractical distances knowing each step there’s something to find.