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Some things to be thankful for, November 2015

November 29, 2015


It doesn’t always happen, but sometimes in Southern California, we have a brief season of leaf change. It is upon us now, until the next Santa Ana wind strips the sycamore and liquidambar of their ephemeral technicolor dreamcoats.

On Thanksgiving Day I was blessed to end the day running near Irvine Park; a welcome chill and dramatic clouds and bit of sunset rainbow–combined with a unusual lack of trail users–made for an ideal outing.


A bit of sunset rainbow between the trees

Earlier this month, on these same trails, I was pleased to meet up with some local residents who are always around, but usually out of sight.

And then there’s that crazy barefoot shadow lady who never fails to find me when the sun dips low:


The week before Thanksgiving, I was happy to hike some less familiar trails in Orange County’s Laguna Coast Wilderness Park with two local writers who were part of my Grand Canyon Field Institute “Writing On The Edge” workshop last summer at the North Rim.

We enjoyed getting caught up as we wandered along the ridgeline for a couple of hours (such fabulous Pacific Ocean views!) then wound our way back down to the trailhead on the tree-canopied Laurel Canyon Trail.

It was delightful to have a chance to sit and write trail-side again with these ladies; there’s something magical about the spontaneous creativity that arises when one hunkers down in the dirt and starts paying attention to what is: right there!

After we sat in silence for a while, jotting down whatever caught our eyes/ears/noses/skin, we read each other our observations; Terry LePage agreed to let me share her letter to the oak that sheltered our writing fun.


Terry and “her” oak on the Laurel Canyon Trail

Dear Oak
by Terry LePage
Laurel Canyon, Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

I wish you would come and live
in my yard. Make your statement
about time and beauty and
keep the squirrels amused . . .

wrap your gnarled branches
around my wall and coat
the earth with your little
sharp shell leaves . . .

Shelter jays and mockingbirds.
Leave secrets
in your bark trails.
Be home.

Home Depot cannot sell you.
You are beyond price.
Come home with me. Oh,
maybe I am home.


And a few final photos from Thanksgiving afternoon . . . so much to be thankful for in my “home away from home” . . . our wild Orange County!


3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 30, 2015 11:17 pm

    Stunningly beautiful photographs and lovely thoughts. Thanks for sharing, Thea. 🙂

    • December 15, 2015 2:28 pm

      I appreciate your kind words 🙂 It’s so much fun to think of folks in other hemisphere’s being able to experience–via the blog-o-sphere–my bit of wildness here in Orange County, CA, USA 🙂

  2. November 29, 2015 8:38 pm

    Thanks for “publishing” my little poem!

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