Friday, March 16, 2018

A Walk on the Wild Side

The light says spring, but the weather is suddenly saying winter in Southern California. After months of dry days, lots of wind and mostly warm days, we have had one rain storm after the other for the past week. Nobody is complaining. Everything is turning a bright water filled green. Even the mountain sides along the San Diego Freeway that burned last fall have a covering of green between the black burned bushes.

I have been hovering over my computer. My editor’s suggestions were not extreme, but in a mystery every time you change something it has a domino effect. Thank heavens for the find features. The trick is remembering an unusual word that goes with the section I’m looking for, so I could put it in the find menu box.

I have been inside far too much, which is why when my son suggested an end of the day walk up along dirt Mulholland I jumped at the chance. We used to walk up there a lot, but it’s been a long time since we have and I’d just been thinking about it and missing it.

It was already close to getting dark and seemed to be between rain storms. We parked where the street ends and then walked around the barrier and up the steep dirt road to dirt Mulholland. And then suddenly its like the world took a step back. The air was damp and cool and smelled of sage. A hawk flew over me and there was an absence of noise.

I’ve walked the same route so many times, I know the curves by heart. There was a big puddle at the first curve and I had to maneuver around it and then it was straight ahead to a view of nothing but mountains. After the next curve, a hill rises on one side of the road and the panorama of the San Fernando Valley is on the other. The clouds were low and dark as the lights began to sparkle.

Somewhere hidden behind all the dark clouds the sun had already set when we got to the spot where we turn around. I took a look at the road as it continued on. I knew it would wind around getting lower and lower until it reached Topanga Canyon. Maybe someday. The air was so fresh and fragrant. All I could think about was how lucky I was to have this so nearby and so available.

As we started back I felt something wet hit my head and then there was more and the rain began to make noise as the drops hit my jacket. My son seemed to think I’d freak out and be upset. But I’m not the Wicked Witch of the West and I won’t melt with a little water. By the time I got to the road that led down to the car, it was too dark to see the ground I was stepping on. And then it was back to civilization and a stop at Peet’s for a cup of coffee before I went back to work.


Linda Osborn said...

Hmm..Dirt Mulholland has such a familiar ring--did you find bike tire tracks, a quilt, a body ?? Love how you use your favorite surroundings in your books !

Linda O. Johnston said...

Your hike sounds swlightful despite the rain. I'm sure the cup of coffee later helped!