what better way to celebrate the vernal equinox than to spend a day exploring the pine creek wilderness with a sweet wild heart?
lately I am lucky to have k as my guide on these forays into the wilderness southeast of san diego. until now, our adventures had taken us to the peaks that hover in the expanse of sky, but earlier today we went down. we descended down hillsides of yucca and chaparral into a deep canyon carved by the wild rushing of spring itself: pine creek. dry during the later months of the year, in spring she roars with all the sound of the rain and snow that collects on the mountains to our north. water cold as clouds to the touch, rich wet smell of loam in the air.
down by the creek, we left the trail and followed a path of boulders upstream, the granite smooth as glass beneath our feet, the brush on shore so choked with poison oak we had to cover up. this fierce protector of the forest, in spring so successful in its defense of its land and so prolific that only the most resolute, reverent wanderers dare pass.
a world of abundance lay ahead: the riparian ground teeming with animal life, the air thick with the songs of birds and the wings of butterflies. we met frogs, alligator lizards, snakes, and turtles. the tracks of coyote and the remains of a raccoon small sidetracks in the grand narrative of life at play at pine creek: birth, death, beauty.
the wind in the leaves of the oaks– a red-tailed hawk’s slow drift in a rising current– the heat the sun hides in granite so fine to the touch of fingers, palms– the color green emerging from the dark humus in the great heaving push of life insisting on itself– all particulars that hold the glory of the everything, all signifiers to the resplendence of the unknowable whole–
and us here, somehow, in this verdant valley, witness, participant, celebrant, wild as the heart of the earth that engenders so urgently and endlessly this, and this, and this beauty–