One of our neighbors has an olive grove. It is relatively young and was on the property when they bought it. They knew nothing about olives.
But they learned. And today about 30 of their friends and neighbors came to pick this years crop. And it was a big crop. Some of the people there were familiar to me. Some were not. But we all chatted and laughed as we found new and more efficient ways to strip a young tree of its bounty.
The neighbor lives at the top of our hill. To get to our place you have to drive by theirs. To get to theirs from ours you have to climb the hill.
Today, I decided to walk to their property. One mile. Dirt road. Very rural.
I saw paw prints that probably belonged to a large cat. Prints that might have belonged to a small bear. Hoof marks of horse and deer. I saw trees and rock formations that I missed when driving by. The silence was astounding.
In the late afternoon, I walked home and realized that I had never taken the time to really appreciate the beauty that is our little dusty, dirty road.
I thought I would share the nature of things that existed on that little stroll.
The road bisects one neighbor’s land. A fact that occasionally puts them in danger from speedsters. Yes, there are drivers who believe that a dirt road is just like a paved road. NOT!!
While the sun gave me great height, it did nothing for showing off the steep grade at this point. Trust me, during heavy rains this is a river of mud. Four-wheel drive is a must and even then, the passage is risky. But look at the far ridges. See the colors. Note the clear a brilliant sky. A treasure.
It is at this point that people trying to find our house begin to have doubts as to the directions that they have been given. The angle of descent increases along with the size of the boulders that grow here. The last house has been passed and there is no sign of civilization. This is where the natives of this area reside. Black bear, mountain lion, lynx, coyote, opossum, skunk, raccoon etc. This is there home.
Then the road flattens out and the trees and sage brush try to dominate the scene. The air is fragrant with the smell of oak, mint, sage, and wild rosemary. It is very quiet.
And it continues to drop. No sign of humans. Lots of animal prints in the sandy, dust earth. The air doesn’t seem to move here. The entire road is in shade.
At long last, a sign of a house. Hidden by pine and oak. But it is not mine. I continue straight at the Y.
Taking the small turn I know that I am close to home. I smell the pine and the willows. I can taste the sage and rosemary. I make the final corner, one mile from my starting point, and I am home.
Go slow. Protect our gravel. Dogs at play.
My thoughts go to my brother, Dan. How he would have loved this place.
And a song comes to mind.
The road is long
With many a winding turn
That leads us to who knows where
Who knows where
But I’m strong
Strong enough to carry him
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother
So on we go
His welfare is of my concern
No burden is he to bear
We’ll get there
For I know
He would not encumber me
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother
If I’m laden at all
I’m laden with sadness
That everyone’s heart
Isn’t filled with the gladness
Of love for one another