The Golden Seed Grove Of Lemuria
A TALE OF TWO TREES
Yesterday I was meditating beneath a white pine in Connecticut. I hope, in a few months, to be meditating beneath a redwood in northern California.
Somewhere in the timelessness of my meditation yesterday-now that's a very cool thought, lost somewhere in the timelessness-a breeze came up. I felt the light touch of pine needles landing on my skin and when I opened my eyes-I was leaning in back in a canvas lawn chair, as far back as it would go-I saw the breeze clearing the tree of the needles it was shedding-pure symbiosis-and so incredibly beautiful.
It was as if it was snowing, only the needles were the flakes and they were golden in color in the late afternoon sun!
This morning, returning from the paint store with the last gallon of white for the house trim, I passed Torno's Lumber. There was a pile of redwood stacked high up by the road, which instantly brought my mind West. Although I hate it whenever I see the trucks carrying redwood trunks along the highway, I was thankful that seeing the stack of wood carried my mind out to northern California.
Heading west from Potter Valley, there are two roads-this piece of writing seems to want to contain a subtext about two's-two trees, two roads, let's see if there are any more-that lead up to my in-laws ranch which surrounded by Mendocino National Forest. Two logging roads. One of the two is often closed after spring rains have caused certain stretches of roadway to slide down the steep cliff into the valley floor below. Believe me, there are a few stretches of road where the cliffs are nearly vertical and the road narrows to barely the width of a car, which have been the death of a few presumably drunken drivers coming down from the lake.
To reach the lake, and the entire world at the top of these roads, including the ranch on which my wife's family lives, you must pass an invisible demarcation line which separates the busy world below, from the less hectic, much more rural and laid back one at the top. The only ones who venture up, aside from National Parks people, are the boaters who come to the lake each summer, hang gliders and the few families who share the thousand acre ranch with my in laws. For these lucky few, there is a further demarcation line: an unmarked dirt road leads beneath a ranch sign-a weird symbol that reminds me of an ancient hieroglyph-after a quarter mile or so, up to an imposing, locked gate.
Beyond the gate, beyond the metal fenced perimeter, as if it were a top-secret government compound, is the final sanctuary-the ranch.
It is not as if what is contained within the gate are any secrets worth protecting. The land enclosed within the fenced perimeter is the same in character as the land outside. Several shoulders of Mount Hull rise up within and without of the ranch to the rounded summit, the prized goal of hang-gliders. Every weekend throughout the summer the hang gliders made the treacherous drive up to the top of the mountain for the thrill of jumping off and floating down to a meadow beside the lake.
For the people on the ranch, the hang gliders provide afternoon entertainment. Sitting out on the deck, we will count them and track them, off and on, during their slow soar down to the meadow beside the lake-a soar that takes most of the afternoon. This is the level of interesting activity when you as are chilled out as we become up there-it is FUN watching people thinking they are birds! Time is slowed down up on the ranch, so activities tend to take an entire morning or an afternoon.
A morning walk will most likely fill up all the hours until lunch which in my mind, is the way time should be.
Just as meditating could. Or writing.
I've found a few comfortable places up on the ranch, the one that comes to mind first is the hammock that hangs between two manzanita trees to one side of the house. This is far from a perfect place for meditation because of its proximity to the driveway, the garage and the yard where games are played. It's a better spot for reading than meditating.
I haven't found a place within the ranch for meditating, but I must. There are cool, shady groves of huge Douglas firs in many places. I like the thought of finding one near the small river that runs through.
During morning walks along the stream, you will most likely surprise some deer and a few large hares-hopefully not a bobcat or any bears, which still should be sleeping. I think there must be a spot somewhere beside the river conducive to letting the mind settle down. It will likely be beneath the shade and protection of the tall trees, otherwise the sun would prove to be too hot.
There is something I can almost always feel about a tree that I chose to sit beneath. This has to do with the protection it offers, not only from the sun but from the world at large. A good tree will let you sink into its trunk when you lean back against it. It can be hard one minute, when you want to scratch your back, and then soft the next, when you want to rest again.
This summer, I will search for this place to sit, to become lost, to hang glide into timelessness. There will be a tree (or two) which welcomes me-I know it, even now, even from this great distance-that allows me to meditate beneath its branches; to feel safe enough in this world, to travel as far into the other as I might want to go.