For the summer solstice, I thought it appropriate to revisit a dreamy Californian day trip my sister and I took in April. Taking advantage of the mild spring weather, we drove about an hour out to Antelope Valley, through winding mountain paths and past flat, rural fields.
Our destination? The Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, where our state flower was in super bloom. We’d missed the height of the bloom, but it was lovely walking through the hills and seeing the subtle colors revealed with each wind-ripple through the grasses and wildflowers. Poppy orange, of course, but also shades of green and silvery-whites, ashy-purples, the cheerful yellows of tickseed and goldfields.
We hadn’t been since we were children, but I remember it had been so windy, my ears hurt. It was very windy this time, too, but seeing the golden poppies was worth it. (But I would highly recommend bringing a jacket, sunglasses, and maybe a bandanna or scarf to cover your face. Also, hang on to your hats.)
A gray winter, wet and fresh with
the wound of leaving, clung
damp to my shoulders.
I needed to shed it like old skin,
to awaken from cold slumber.
The snakes wrote the way into the hills
in the warm dirt, in the secret tongue of
the Mother murmured in the wind.
I planted my heart in the long grasses,
soft against my bare calves,
watered it with joy and sorrow.
Let it steep in sunlight.
The earth returned to me
fields of gold.
Supplements: (Music) Stay Away | Rooney