Stir Crazy

Today, after two months of restlessness, my view, a window between four walls most of the time. We were able to visit one of my favorite state parks in Sonoma Valley, Jack London's Ranch.  The state parks are open to visitors in our area.  This time instead of hiking to the Wolf House, we took a slow walk through the valley to Jack London's cottage, horse stables and ranch area covered in stone buildings, green vineyards and golden meadows surrounded by thick forests of trees. 

I scanned the ground for rattlesnakes. There are warnings through-out the park. Rattlers like temps in the 70's to 90's. And today was a perfect 70+ afternoon to curl up for a snake nap in the sun. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see one. We did see several alligator lizards on fence posts and large flat rocks through out the park and one grey squirrel that squeaked by. I am always wishing to sight the big predators like mountain lions who are common in the area and coyotes. A black bear would be thrilling.  It was the noon hour with a scattering of masked and mask less hikers and groups walking the trails, so any chance of a predator crossing our path would be rare indeed.

It was good to get out and walk in a large area with incredible views of the mountains and blue sky with wisps of clouds and patches of green and gold checkering the valley. 

This morning, I was irritable. I felt like I was running into walls not getting anywhere. Last night, we binge watched Mad Men and I think watching too much television no matter what it is can be deadening to the spirit. Every show seems to loop around from drama to drama. There is enough real drama in the world. I don't want to voluntarily invite more in.

For many years, I lived without television. I remember those times of being connected to a great group of friends, and being really connected to my animals and our walks together. I didn't have angst or frustration like I have experienced these past couple of months being stuck at home so much.

The parks opening is a welcome change. Living in a townhouse with a small backyard is not near enough space to feel free. It's hard enough not being able to see the stars and night sky because of light pollution. When we first moved here, almost forty years ago, I remember spending hours looking up into the sky, searching the stars with my black cat Irma sitting beside me on the front steps. Huge moths covered in dust powder and lace fluttered around the dim orange glow of the lampposts. I could hear the frogs and the creek nearby. Forty years later. Today. The moths are gone. Rarely do I hear frogs. And there is so much traffic, you can't hear the creeks. 

This is why hiking and going out into nature is so important for me. An hour or two is not enough, though.

This morning, we searched for tents and camping gear. Before the end of summer, I hope to be sleeping under the stars with my partner, lost in time, breathing in the perfume of the forest and listening to the animals sing into the night.

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