Monday, April 20, 2009

Our Ordinary World Away

Sometimes I'm in awe that it only takes a 12 to 15-minute drive to escape the concrete and chaos of the city to enjoy the refreshment of these hills.

Throughout the year, hiking here is a regular part of our weekday. When I'm not taking it for granted, I often regret not carrying a camera.

The foothills on these hikes are filled with majestic oaks. To think so many of were cut down to build track homes in the valley pains me.

I used to think my grandmother was silly the way she'd fall in love with tree after tree on any ordinary trip to the butcher or the mall. "Ohh!" she'd say, "Look at that tree!" Longingly with a bit of a slump, she'd say, "Wouldn't I love to have a tree like that."

When I young and before I knew about her longing for trees, I remember she bought a huge tree that she had spotted an empty lot. She had it moved on a semi-size flat bed and planted it in front of her house. But soon that spot was empty again. The tree didn't survive.

We took our Brazilian friends on this hike on Saturday. We were having a leisure visit instead of a vigorous hike, so there was a lot more time to take pictures and see our ordinary places with fresh eyes.

This weekend was particularly special. Wildflowers in full bloom.


I was inspired by this woman's words in a story the Mercury News did on her being named a Rhodes scholar.

Noelle Lopez, photo by Maria J. Avila--Mercury News

What she enjoys about running:
"A lot is in the details. The smell of certain trails, the feeling of putting on running shoes or spikes, the rhythm of the act itself."

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