FAREWELL TO WHEELER CANYON

 

 

 

…..I had the great blessing of living on a small ranch in a canyon just outside of Ventura California in the 1990’s.   Wheeler Canyon with its beautiful winding mountain road along its creek was lined with ranches, homesteads and blooming white apricot orchards.  It led to our little road, Live Oak.  There you entered an offshoot small canyon with its own creek.  At the end of the road was said to be an old Indian burial ground.   All around were hills that completely encircled you and at night the stars were brilliant and shining.  We saw the Hale-Bopp comet from head to tail as if it were moving through the heavens with headlights.  Our comfortable white stucco home with turquoise trim and orange Spanish tiled roof had beautiful double French doors all the way around.  The portico with its red flooring had white pillars every 10 feet, each engulfed by red bougainvillea vines.  The covered walkway  completely surrounded the house.  From the road it had the appearance of a Greek temple, so we named in Atheon.

…..Here for happy years my beautiful and loving family, wife Lisa and daughters Viena and Bailey, whiled away the hours in peace and harmony.  Our pets seemed to multiply and soon we had 3 horses, 5 dogs, 8 cats, 3 parrots, 3 sheep, 2 pigs, countless love birds, chickens, and peacocks.  There was room and food for all and space to play.

…..The land swept steeply to a ridge top with purple, yellow and green fields lining the ascent.  I would sit for hours and contemplate all this beauty under the warm and bright blue California sky.  I would have been happy to spend my entire life working that land but……… circumstances intervened.  As I looked out onto the hillside during our final days on the ranch, I was impressed by how stunning this beauty was.  Yet I sensed that it was already fading into memory before my eyes.  There is a special nostalgia at a moment like this; one of both appreciation and a feeling of loss.  It is a sadness that is a blessing to behold.

 

 

FAREWELL TO WHEELER CANYON

 

Sand Creek where memories run deep

And the bones of the Elders drink in ghosted shirts

Sand Creek where Wheeler Canyon speaks

With its muted tongue

Pressed against the leaves

Ever flowing toward the sea.

 

Here harm passed over us

Like an angel starbound in the brilliant night

Cast out above the halo of hills

That encircled us umbilically

All in good California time

 

There is nostalgia of a certain kind

Where that which is passing

Seems already gone

I miss it now as I did then

Never able to hold the golden wind, the flowers or the perfect sky

 

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