Mt. Diablo, Walnut Creek, CA

I was mountain biking a lot.  So I decided to go for a hike on Mt. Diablo.  I didn’t take my binoculars; I just listened to the birds–California Thrasher, Cassin’s Vireo, Oak Titmouse, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Scrub Jay, Lazuli Bunting, Black-headed Grosbeak– just the ordinary birds of summer.  Then what do you know, a Golden Eagle appeared overhead soaring high above.  I was reminded of why I enjoy hiking so much; it gives me such joy.  Instead of memorizing a poem as I often do on my meanderings I felt a poem composing in my head and here it is:

Mt. Diablo

Mt. Diablo so beautiful I want to hug her

When I round Highway 24 there she is in all her grandeur

Lush with green just three months of the year and brown the rest

I want to put my arms around her bounteous breasts

A hike from Burma Road to the Summit will make your waist line plummet

This place I hold so dear

inspiring she bursts with Penstemon, Purple owl’s clover, and Ithuriel’s Spears all the year

Black-tailed deer and if you are lucky and quiet and respect this mighty place,

you’ll see a Bobcat, Black-tailed Jackrabbit, Alameda Whipsnake, Horned Toad, or Western Rattlesnake.

Oh how I love her, the place that has given me such solace

That even walking her trails in summer’s glaring heat I long to reach her summit at 3849 feet

For when I am feeling sad and obsessing on something ridiculous

She reminds me that I am just a smote of dust  compared to forces such as plate tectonics

that formed her oak filled valleys circled by chamise lined  lofty peaks,

More powerful than all of us

And then instead of the day’s anxieties

My heart and mind fill with all that pleases

The song of the returning Lazuli Bunting

A pack of coyotes laughing

Soaring Golden Eagle hunting

Mt. Diablo–  refulgent blessing

Michelle Brodie copyright 2013

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