i recommend hopping right on

December 31, 2013

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Here I am, getting one last post under the wire in 2013. Seems like a good idea, since I haven’t written here since November. It’s not that I haven’t tried. I have, in fact, written two nearly complete blog posts in the past few weeks; in both cases by the time I got around to finishing them, they were already moot and stale. Like those cranberry bars I made last week that nobody seemed to like. They’re in the freezer now. I’ll throw them out in February.

I suppose it isn’t a bad thing if you are too busy living to blog about it.

We took the boys to San Francisco on Sunday. Lulu stayed home and worked on college admissions essays, dutiful girl. H is home for three weeks, which is longer than he’s been home for a few years. It’s pretty wonderful, even if he doesn’t clean the juicer after he uses it each morning. We had big plans to go to lunch and the DeYoung Museum, but a “quick” errand downtown threw it all off, and Burma Superstar had a ridiculous wait, and someone in the car was about to explode from starvation, so we wound up eating a sit-down lunch at a place where no one really wanted to go, and ran out of time for the museum.

We headed, instead, to Andy Goldworthy’s installations in the Presidio. Have you seen the documentary on Goldsworthy, Rivers and Tides? Awe-inspiring art-making with nature. Inspiration for adults and kids alike.

Spire is an amazing work, thirty-five bound cypress trunks raising ninety feet into the sky.


But it’s Wood Line that I love. It’s a long, curving line of eucalyptus trunks that winds through a eucalyptus grove. It’s a piece of art that you can walk on, which is a satisfying way to experience art. I loved hearing how the heels of my boots sounded different with the change of each trunk, depending on its size and solidity. Click, click, click, clunk, clunk, clunk. 


H, budding cinematographer that he is, loved the place. It’s a gorgeous space at any time, and we happened to be there just before sunset, at the time of day cinematographers call the magic hour for its golden quality of light. We took lots of photos and he chastised me for not knowing more about my camera settings. I made a new year’s resolution right there.


It was one of those days that seemed, at about 2:30 when we were desperate for somewhere decent to eat, like it was careening towards disaster. Food in our stomachs and a walk on the Wood Line fixed all that. Funny how things can work out that way sometimes.

I’m using that curving line of eucalyptus as a metaphor for the new year. You can stand at the start of it, admire its undulations and see where it’s headed, but try as you might, you can’t see the end of it. The only way to know where it ends, how it ends, is to walk along it. I recommend hopping right on. Don’t worry about where you’re headed, just enjoy the light and the sounds as you go. Click, click, click, clunk, clunk, clunk. One trunk at a time.


Happy 2014, my friends.



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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

amy December 31, 2013 at 11:23 am

I started 2013 by embroidering a labyrinth, the kind with one way in and one way out. It hangs on my wall as a reminder. Sometimes you just have to walk the path and trust.

Happy New Year!


patricia January 1, 2014 at 5:23 pm

I see your labyrinth on your Twitter background, Amy. Love it. And I really love your new profile picture. You’re adorable. Happy new year to you too!


Cathy December 31, 2013 at 2:56 pm

I love the idea of embroidering a laberinth as well as walking that one you mention in the post. Can you tell met he name of it? I do hope to go to Sean Fran sometime in the somewhat near future….


patricia January 1, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Cathy, if you click on the link to “Andy Goldworthy’s installations” in the post, it will tell you all you need to know to visit the Wood Line and Spire installations. I hope you get to do it! It’s very worthwhile. Happy 2014!


Dawn Suzette January 1, 2014 at 5:06 am

This is really wonderful, Patricia!
I think we are hopping on this year in a big way. We will have to make a point to stop here when we make our way north. Maybe we can click, clunk on a trunk together!
Have a wonderful New Year and a great time with your trio of kiddos all together this break!


patricia January 1, 2014 at 5:34 pm

Yes, you are hopping right on this year, Dawn! So exciting. I think you’d love these installations–and I’d love to see your photos of them! I sure do hope we get to meet up, now that you keep coming further west. Best wishes for what promises to be a thrilling year, Dawn!


Rhythm January 1, 2014 at 7:48 pm

Sounds like you had quite a Serendipitous day! I love that Wood Line. I think that we need one at our place! I’m ready to climb aboard. I hope that 2014 is full of Serendipity!


patricia January 1, 2014 at 7:52 pm

Serendipity is a favorite word, Rhythm, and a good intention for 2014! Thanks for the kind wishes. I hope you have lots of fun walks in your future too!


Cathy January 5, 2014 at 12:12 pm

What a lovely way — and idea — to start the new year. Hopping on board sounds like a wonderful way to spend 2014.


patricia January 5, 2014 at 4:39 pm

Best wishes for the new year, Cathy!


Carrie January 6, 2014 at 10:43 am

I love this metaphor, too. Thanks!


patricia January 6, 2014 at 10:36 pm

I’d say that you started this year off big, Carrie, hopping across the pond, so to speak. Happy new year to you!


Nancy Carol January 6, 2014 at 10:07 pm

So glad to have you back! Happy 2014! 🙂


patricia January 6, 2014 at 10:37 pm

Happy new year to you too, Nancy Carol!


Wendy January 14, 2014 at 8:45 am

Love Andy Goldsworthy. Love the metaphor. Thanks!


patricia January 14, 2014 at 8:49 am

🙂 Happy January, Wendy!


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