A Joyful Noise

| August 1, 2011 | 0 Comments

Living in an urban area I have gotten used to the sounds of the city. Late night sirens and passing traffic are all part of my daily noise. When my friend Pat invited me to spend a weekend with her and another friend at her mountain retreat I was delighted, a sojourn into the world of quiet. The ride to Julian up the 79 is wonderful, filled with never ending hairpin turns and green hills dotted with charred trees reminding us of the ravages of nature as well as the beauty. Pat’s home is in a clearing in the woods, a home built after losing the original in one of the fires that overtook so many mountain homes.

Once inside I saw that the lovely log home and its contents were as interesting and comfortable as Pat herself.  We settled in and began a weekend of serenity taking the opportunity to just exhale. The three of us all have busy lives, so the chance to do absolutely nothing was a treat. No laptops were opened, no cell phones rang and the TV was never on. We sat at the dining table gazing out at the hills and feasted on simple meals of sliced cold chicken, squash and mango soup, fresh tomatoes, avocado, cheese and crackers and several glasses of natures best summertime liquid, cold white wine.

Much time was spent in the sun room overlooking the backyard area. As we sat with our books and newspapers and magazines, we looked up often to watch the deer and wild turkeys that trusted the owners enough to come close enough to touch as they walked boldly around the back nibbling at food in the bird feeders. I couldn’t help but wonder how anyone could aim a gun at these lovely creatures in the name of sport or even with the goal of putting food on the table.

In the morning we rode into Julian early enough to miss the onslaught of weekend tourists, many on motorcycles, breaking the quiet of this bucolic setting. Happily Julian has escaped the fate of many quaint towns and has remained true to itself. No upscale shopping centers, trendy coffee shops or fast food restaurants have cropped up to spoil the unique flavor of this town. It looks like it has always looked as far back as I can remember. Pat chose the most interesting shops and after a few purchases we headed back for a day of relaxation. It went exactly as planned, some good reading, great friendship talk and even a quick nap. The evening started out back in Julian with dinner on the outdoor patio of a small café. We took in the stars as the sun went down and marveled at the bright light of a perfect full moon rising as we watched. The evening ended with a visit to an artist neighbor who showed us her mosaic and glass art as we sipped a sparkling wine.

That night as I lay in my bed mesmerized at the beauty of that full moon framed in the skylight above me, I felt at peace with the world. There are always going to be human problems we have to deal with. There are always noises in our head. A trip to the country or the mountains or the beach is a chance to reconnect with the earth and know we are all part of a greater noise, a better noise, the noise of life going on all around us. Thank you, Pat.

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