Thursday, December 31, 2020


“Listen, and lay your head under the tree of awe.”


Although I don't anticipate adding new posts to the blog for a while, I'll still enjoy leafing through pages from the past, especially pages from the same month in different years.

And speaking of revisiting the past, I recently returned to a part of Mt. Tamalpais where I used to roam around quite a bit back in the early '90s, a place where I could allow the landscape to reveal itself to me over a period of years, a place above Redwood Creek and west of Muir Woods that I called Bobcat Hill. I was drawn into that landscape by the inviting sight of a thin deer trail that meandered like a mountain stream through coyote brush embankments. It's headwaters disappeared over a hilltop horizon where nature's secrets beckoned from beyond.

The deer trail has faded quite a bit in the ensuing years. The coyote brush has grown so thick that whole meadows of bunchgrass where mission bells once bloomed have disappeared, as well as old landmarks like a small grove of Douglas firs under whose branches I took refuge from rain and wind, and where I once startled a sleeping coyote. A small grove of spindly oaks that occasionally sprouted a chanterelle motherlode has disappeared. A stony outcrop where vultures used to warm their wings in the morning was gone, buried in dense chaparral. The sunny patch of meadow where I once did a vision quest was an impenetrable thicket.

Nature shapes the mountain in a continuous trail through time. And all kinds of trails, whether lines on the landscape, flushes of sulfur tufts on a fir tree, or bobcats disappearing into the woods, will always kindle my sense of wonder. Even time itself is a trail: I took this picture of myself nearly twenty years ago, and when another twenty years passes I'll be an old man, hopefully still walking the trails of wonder and awe.

December Scenes

Cataract Falls

Bolinas Ridge Rainbow

Raven's Leap

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