| Saturday, April 17th 2004, by Marissa A Spencer|
Indian Grinding Rock
It was in the late summer of last year(2002) when we took our family to see Indian Grinding Rock in the foothills of Northern California.
The drive took us slowly up ever winding roads that continued to reduce in size. Around a mountain here and a hill there, and it wasn't long before we arrived. The small road that climbed into the deciduous forest became barely big enough for two cars to pass. The play of light through the trees almost distracted us to the point of missing our turnoff. Before us were a small parking lot and a wooden structure.
We were hungry after our two-hour drive and promptly got lunch out and found a picnic table to use. The squirrels and birds were quite willing to catch any crumbs we left behind. Setting out on foot we started our Indian summer walk. To our right was an enormous slab of granite. It was pockmarked with hundreds of grinding holes, and if you looked carefully enough you could see the petroglyphs that filled almost every other area.
The entire area was an oak forest. One could not help noticing the incredible size of some of them. The children were ready for a walk and our map showed a small stream at the far end of the trail. I for one, wanted nothing more than to relax and feel the warmth of the waning summer before it was gone. So, off they went to see the stream and explore. On our way to the grove of trees was a meadow to the right. The late wild flowers had attracted huge numbers of bees. The whole area was idyllic, and a feeling or warmth and comfort seemed to radiate from the trees.
The kids ran off chasing some poor woodland creature and disappeared from view. I came upon one of the biggest oaks I have ever seen. The trunk was six feet in diameter at least. She stood there…for so long, so many years. I couldn't help but feel a certain reverence to such a great living thing. I knew that Indian Grinding Rock was a sacred site to the California Native Americans. There was a indeed a feeling of sacredness here.
The tree stood there, it's massive trunk and branches were like a grandmothers embrace. I asked her if I could sit beneath her. Such peace. An odd feeling came over me. Or, perhaps I should say an odd feeling came over my surroundings. If I were looking at a clock I swear the second hand would have stopped. All around me, everything became enhanced: sharper, clearer. An incredible silence was followed by the buzzing of the bees in the meadow on the other side of the pathway. They were much louder than I remember them. I heard a scuffling, rustling sound and saw a small lizard rushing down the trunk of a nearby tree. All this time, not a soul was heard or seen anywhere. The sounds of my children were no longer heard. It was surreal, as if suddenly I was connected to all the life around me. I was the tree, the lizard, and the bee. I felt Grandmother embrace me. She towered above me; warm protective. I knew in that moment, that I had been given a great gift. This is what it means to be one with all life.
I was not sure how long I rested in that healing peace. Time seemed to be nonexistent. Another visitor walking up the pathway suddenly brought things back to normal. After they passed I slowly rose and looked into the patchy sunlight that played on the oak tree's branches. "Thank you Grandmother," I said softly.
(c) November 20,2002 Marissa A Spencer
19 Apr 2004 @ 00:08 by shawa : :-)
Big trees will do that to you, yes. :-) *sigh*
19 Apr 2004 @ 02:31 by : Beautifully Written
and shared with the same loving embrace. Thank you.
19 Apr 2004 @ 21:26 by : Sometimes
I want so much to go back and just sit at the base of that grand tree. Thank you for reading it.
21 Apr 2004 @ 00:20 by vibrani : I'd like to join you
it seems like a marvelous place.
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