Santa Lucias

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I am charged when I see life arriving out of a death-like state.
This generous but diminishing nature that I love has handled the radiant warmth streaming the planet, preparing an outpouring of March color.
My friend and I race ahead of civilization’s destruction derby.
This day we head into the Santa Lucia Mountains to photograph wild flowers.
Here the oaks and sage have not been carefully counted for their resource value.
The string and plastic tape used to plant our joint inheritance onto survey maps cannot be stretched long enough.
I breathe easy in knowing not all places have been so precisely considered.
I know I was born to enter a land that is foreign to human thinking.
We stop near high noon, lean against a sycamore, and watch firebugs.
They run in and out of the enfoldments of curling bark.
Tassajara is higher up on a long track of graded gravel.
Why bother those quiet people?
I have my limits of silence to find and explore.
It is the wild mountains and hill-top clouds I want to see.
We sip at our bottles of water and polish the lenses on our cameras.
City nature might be in retreat, but here she is raw
and strutting her stuff in a wild cycle of celebration.
Goldenrod, poppy, paintbrush, lupine, clover, thistle,–
colors matching those of an Indian headdress.
We stop in the middle of the old village half way to the coast for sandwiches.
Monarchs and swallowtails decorate the still afternoon air.
This is a place where some people are still living.

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