Monday, May 10, 2010

The Griffith Park Effect

Between Hollywood and Pasadena is a place that I've fallen in love with. Leave it to the somewhat frugal girl from Colorado to find a place in L.A. that's free and is full of mountains and hiking trails. Character traits aside, I knew instantly that I was in a special place when I saw the delicate mixture of colorful flowers, trees, and valleys juxtaposed against panoramic views of the city. You could even almost make out some of the shoreline of the Pacific if you looked hard enough. I don't know if many non-locals make it a point to visit Griffith Park when they come here, but they should.

Nature has a way of speaking to you through its stillness and its presence. It can provide comfort and serenity when you need to clear your mind. It can inspire you to see that there are still places in this world that are untouched, yet so profound in their ability to stop you in your tracks and make you just stare. Stare because you want to capture it and make it last somewhere inside. It can also make you realize that you've known yourself perfectly. Yes, that intuition doesn't lie and that peaceful urge that your soul feels shouldn't be ignored.

What started as a short, curious hike up a random trail somehow turned into a four hour journey up one of the hardest stretches in the park. I saw a lot of scenes that I hope I'll try really hard to never forget. Some I've seen before, but not from the perspective that I saw them from today. A bird even floated on the wind, as if it was attached to a string from the sky, dangling above the valley below Dante's View. Flying without movement. Suspended over the inhabited chaos below, waiting in decision over where to go next.

Decisions are something I've always had difficulty with. Like that bird, I'd rather wait in suspension above the world I think I want to fly into. Careful observation and deliberation is what I spend most of my energy on, swinging the pendulum back and forth between the options that life presents. Not this time. Since I've arrived here, I've felt a peace I haven't felt in quite awhile. This time I know. This time I've reaffirmed what my intuition was always telling me, with that strong, peaceful, silent urge.

Walking back down that trail I felt whole and happy. This time it's my dream and just my heart. This time there is no doubt. I don't even feel the desire to say "good-bye" to any substitute. This time I know that I've found home.

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