Somehow, it never gets old. Why am I still so entangled with the myriad of canyons of our San Gabes? And I don’t mean in some detached, sentimental way that caresses my heart from a distance. It’s the return, over and over, again that keeps renewing a part of me that continues to shape my sense of place. Really, this ongoing, life-long pattern of climbing, crawling, hiking upright, hopping stream crossings, pedaling and coasting, sleeping along sweet sounding creeks and just resting – calmly seems to stay with me whether I’m in the mountains or not. It’s there. It influences me to the core. It provides me with the hope that I can return to it another time not too far off from now. Perhaps these times in our dear Big Santa Anita Canyon have in some ways become book ends to the necessary days in between.
Even though I have dozens of rolled and folded up topographic maps waiting at home in an old wooden crate and orienteering compass near at hand, there’s the map we all carry with us. It’s in our being, ancient and deeply imbedded . And where it might not be sharply defined visually, there’s the emotional tug of being called home by certain places. Scent and tactile reminders, coupled with the visual and emotional place we were in can tie it all together. There doesn’t seem to be a way or formula to make the same experiences happen over and over the same way. Somehow, our souls just know that it’s time to return, again.
This day, may I come closer to caring for all life in the small ways that connect me to place.