October, 2003 Archive

2003 Yom Kippur Fast at Sycamore Glen

Sunday, October 5th, 2003

img_2615.jpgOctober 5, 8:50 p.m.

Moon a bit more than half-full followed by Mars as if in tow. Bright still but no longer red or fat. Temperature dropping since I arrived around 7:00, just as it was getting dark. The creek is silent, though there’s still a little standing water in the pools.

Broken trees blocked the trail—sycamore and oak—the cattle making new trails in the red weathered basalt soil to get around them. Two red-tailed hawks in the dead branches of an oak at the entrance to the glen. One took off with a skreer and I just heard another. A doe and fawn walked along the ridge line above Poly Canyon.

Fragrance of tarweed: sweet and astringent—and barn smell of old hay, still golden not yet gray. The sycamore trunk behind me glows white in the moonlight when the gauzy clouds drift away. Little light pollution from the city, but I hear invisible traffic on the grade.

Sounds of the cicadas came up louder as the light drained out around 7:15. The sky lost opacity, allowing stars to slowly emerge. When I first arrived here, after the exertion of riding my bike up the canyon wearing a pack, I lay down on the air mattress and napped—immobile and comfortable—like I imagine my mother feeling in her nursing home bed.

The moon seems to be racing across the sky from southeast to southwest. At this rate it will set in a couple of hours. …

October 6 7:00 a.m.

Kestrel at ridgeline near the bedrock mortars, img_2620a.jpgred tail overhead. Morning clear, mild and still, but looking toward Brizzolara Creek, I see thick plumes of white fog rushing up the valley, keeping low to the ground. Then gone. Then returning. Quick breezes brush by me, one warm, one chill.

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