Monday, October 31, 2016

The hillside

I am a little bit heartbroken. I can feel the lump in my throat. Today I walked down the back stairs from my deck to the hillside swail, where I go every morning with my dogs to greet the sunrise, where every day I put up pictures entitled "Good morning from Laurel Canyon," where I take my cup of tea and breathe in the morning air while the dogs root around, and today there was a fence there.  I don't know a lot about the lack of freedom. I've always been more or less free, but today I felt it, right in the center of my chest. And the dogs looked at the fence, expectantly, waiting for me to open the gate that wasn't there, confused. It's a really sad day. The swail is not an ideal path, it's a little wonky, but it follows the hillside around, underneath the houses, and I was the only one who walked there. But we walked every morning and most evenings and sometimes during the day as well if it was a hard day, just the dogs and me, and we listened to birds, and the beeping horns of traffic on Laurel Canyon, and we'd watch the sun come up, or the birds in the asparagus tree. Sometimes I'd record birdsong (my poor, long-suffering Instagram followers). And mostly I'd find a nice flat spot to sit down, sip my tea, and check my email getting ready for the day.

It's not my hillside. I have to walk past our property. And it's my neighbors' prerogative to build their fence; it's their land afterall. But there is no gate, and now, with the fence in place, there is no way through, not for me, my dogs, the coyotes, the skunks who live down the hill, the deer, or the raccoons. So a habit of many years is now ended. And I am, I'm afraid, a little bit sad.

8 comments:

Crazy said...

Hahaha

k said...

What a sad surprise. I have enjoyed seeing your posts from rambles with your canine pals. It is hard to accept that all things, especially the most precious, will change and come to ends. May you find new secret paths.

Susan Champlin said...

I understand completely. At the end of the cup-de-sac I grew up on (and where my mother still lives), there was a long private drive with a few houses way down at the very end. For years, you could walk down the drive far enough to get a magnificent view of downtown L.A. No one ever walked far enough to encroach on the homes at the end. Yet several years ago, the owners felt the need to put a giant solid gate across the top of the drive, walling it off and blocking the view from everyone except the owners. I don't understand this I-me-mine mentality that feels so threatened by the idea of sharing with others (which is part of my distress over the values on one side of this election, but I won't wallow around in that here). I feel your loss.

Susan Champlin said...

Or perhaps "cul-de-sac"...sigh.

LPC said...

I'd be sad too. I am sad when any sense of freedom and wild nature is taken away. Even when my neighbors let their screening trees die and I have to see their roofline more clearly. Condolences. I wonder why they felt it necessary? I always wonder why anyone doesn't feel the same need for a view free of people that I do?

MerrilyRow said...

I lived in Laurel Canyon for 8 years and loved all those private little paths through the hills, morning and evening with the dog and usually the cats too. Very sad you have lost yours, Bumble. Maybe they'll let you pay for a gate, if you you ply them with something delicious.

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

I am sorry that your beautiful path is closed.

Mrs. Splapthing said...

Why do some people suck so badly, while others are so lovely? Those people, with their stupid fence, suck. That's all.