I left for work a little early this morning, thought I might avoid sitting in traffic. I didn’t, but with the Daylight Savings change, I got a different treat. The early a.m. light put on a special effects extravaganza, hitting the hills all around me at just the right angle and intensity to light them up, making them a deep, rich, lush green. The hills are sort of green-ish in the middle of the day, but in the morning they sparkle. Even the homes on the hills look warm and inviting, despite the fact that they’re slowly swallowing every free inch of land in the valley.
Last summer I had this surreal moment when I was driving to my gram’s place, taking the same freeway route I’d taken for years, and to my horror there were bulldozers all along the side of the road, taking huge chunks out of the hills.
The machines were flattening and reshaping and clearing paths for roads and more homes. (Who are these morons who buy homes next to a freeway anyway? Even if you’re deaf to the noise, you can’t enjoy the smell.) Even worse, I passed a massive pile of gnarled old trees that got mowed down, in the way of some very urgent sewer lines, I’m sure. They were nice trees. I’m sure there were lots of little critters who enjoyed living in them.
It was surreal because it seemed like some overdone scene in a Disney film where the adorable kids’ playground is ruthlessly torn down by a man who twirls his moustache and kicks puppies, to make way for a car wash or strip mall, and the kids all rally to save their sandlot. (Oh, the melodrama! *Swoon*)
I felt sad for the Ents that day, because I was having LoTR flashbacks, and for all the kids who would never know what the hills looked like when they were nothing but grass and trees and turkeys (which run wild in them thar hills), without a speck of asphalt.
Today though, things looked a bit prettier. And living in a town that was settled by the Irish, and with a weekend-long St. Patrick’s Day festival ahead, it seemed fitting that nature should cooperate to set the scene. Green beer can’t do it alone.
So I sat on the freeway, popped in a little E minor EP in F, and as Jason “the Prophet on a Rocket” Mraz belted out “Galaxy” and some of my other favorites, I tried to enjoy the view.
A passerby in a promised land,