Yesterday was an unexpected treat. My son Chris called and asked if I wanted to go with him to Guerneville to Wildwood Retreat Center. He had volunteered to help them install a solar apparatus they had purchased to heat the swimming pool. Delighted to be with Chris, I said, YES!!
The drive was beautiful, and the trip up to the top of the hill long but scenic. When we got there, Martin was busy, and Chris began but realized he needed help, so up on the roof I went to assist and help unfold the plastic contraption, which we both realized will probably work to heat the water for the pool, but when one considers the amount of plastic and its rapid deterioration in the sun, it is to wonder how helpful some of these ideas are for the environment. The apple tree was shading the strips, so I stood up on the roof, surrounded by trees and sky, and trimmed and pruned a beautiful old apple tree. It was fun, and funny, too, as I was up on the roof thinking what we do for moments with our children when they are grown.
Around five, my work was done, and so I walked out to Julie Andrews Point to watch the sun go down. Chris kept working.
There are three benches at one of the most beautiful spots in Sonoma, and possibly the world. You look out on hills and hills. It is amazing and this time of year the grasses are filled with wildflowers. Three men were on one of the benches and I didn't want to intrude, so I was sidling down toward a bench further down that, also, observes the view and an oak tree that may be the oldest of its kind in California and maybe the world. It is quite a tangled tree, just like a life, that is fully absorbed and kept.
The men asked me if I would like a glass of champagne. I couldn't refuse, so joined them, and it seems one man sells champagne and was there for an event the next day, and so we sat until seven drinking champagne out of crystal flutes and talking about the world. Then, they showed me two tiny, perfect Calypso orchids growing in the grass. They are rare, it seems, and a naturalist was coming the next day to observe them. They are exquisite, and I'm not sure how they discovered them as they were off the beaten path, which isn't very beaten. This place is the end of the road and quite remote.
We could have had dinner at Wildwood with our new friends. They were opening bottles of good wine and said dinner would be incredible, but we wanted time alone, so went down to the Applewood Inn and shared a wonderful meal, and then, enjoyed a lovely drive home. I got home at 11:30, so it was a long day for me, and just right. It was charmed with fairy light.
Wildwood is an enchanting place, and so to be there with all those trees, plants, flowers, and just a few friendly people was quite a treat.
Today I go to Sacramento for Park Advocacy Day tomorrow. There is a meeting from 4 to 6 today to prepare us on how to most effectively use our influence on the legislators tomorrow. The parks matter to me. Armstrong State Park in Guerneville is another one threatened. I am surrounded by parks and I consider it essential that they stay open.
Surely the state of California can afford to maintain their parks. One of the men I met yesterday is from Seattle. He said they have money for parks, transportation, schools. Where does the money in CA go? Prisons.
My feet are vibrating with the joy of the day, and the intention to be effective with our politicians. I ask for eloquence with my voice. I still need to read all the literature that was sent to me, and I am looking forward to advocating for the parks I love so much.