Growing up in England, most Sunday afternoons—following a gloriously large roast lunch—inevitably involved going out for a walk of some description. As kids, we were mostly coerced into this activity. Wet. Cold. Muddy. Dark. I have to say, my recollections of these post-prandial excursions seem to be limited to the depths of winter.
No matter. This past weekend I decided that it was high time we adopted this ritual Chez Alice and Monkey. (Yes it was the the Super Bowl, and no, I didn’t watch it.) So after a bitter defeat in basketball, I put Monkey in the car—with what amounted to bodily force, and off we drove to Jack London Park in Glen Ellen, Sonoma Co.
This is a writer’s haven. And a foodie’s haven. And a nature-lover’s haven. And a traveler’s haven. Jack London, was by all accounts, a truly remarkable man. Innovative farmer. Intrepid Adventurer. Talented Author. Faithful lover. And Jack London Park is still home to many of his projects. From the Wolf House ruins, to the cottage, and my favorite, the Pig Palace: I won’t spoil it for you – it’s a place to be discovered.
At this time of year the mustard is blooming in the vineyards and the trees look gorgeous, dressed only in lichen and moss. And for the first time in a long time, the place is almost a fluorescent green thanks to all the recent rains.
The best part? Getting to walk with Monkey for a while and hearing about all the latest Star Wars drama, 7th grade gossip and more.
For kicks, here’s a poem I wrote during a writing class at Jack London Park back in the fall. (I NEVER write poetry, so please don’t judge me!)
They Once Danced
Dented. Each dint a story.
I once stood tall in a forest.
A home to warbling birds
Daily dramas unfolding on my branches.
The sun dancing on my leaves, as the bossy wind whipped between us
causing a sharp whistle
I once dwelled deep underground.
Buried in the rock.
Waiting to be found.
Exclamations of triumph –
the miner prying my precious tin
from the grip of the earth.
I once sat in pieces on a rudimentary assembly line.
The wood and metal coming together as if by magic under Merlin’s spell.
A giant curved horn atop
a square polished wooden box.
A rotating table and an arm.
Not yet brought to life.
I once sat gleaming. Proud.
In a modest wooden cottage amongst the glossy vines
Excited chatter around me as they cranked me up for the first time.
And then. Rapt silence.
The only sound the melodies floating from my body.
Floating through the night.
Their faces lit up.
Their ears guiding them to fall in love with me.
I once traveled thousands of miles.
Swayed, side to side
by the roiling oceans.
Warmed by tropical breezes.
The rustle of palms,
a back drop to my music as they danced.
I once brought life and smiles and movement.
But now I sit.
A phonograph in a museum.