It’s 10:23 pm and I am sitting in our Airstream up at the orange grove. Ray has gone back to LA for the night and I’ll be returning with Liz and Ron in the morning. They are over in their snug-as-a-bug-in-a-rug little house an acre and a few hundred orange trees away. The night is dark, cool and silent. So silent that I can hear very distinctly the dripping faucet in the trailer bathroom which is a good twenty feet from where I’m sitting. I can also hear the sound of a jet high above and later tonight, I’ll more than likely hear the howling of coyotes nearby.
The quietness here at the orange grove is one of its most alluring features. I find that I sleep better here than pretty much anywhere else. There is no road noise and also no city light. On a moonlit night you can walk through the trees as if it’s day; on a dark night like tonight, the stars will be shining bright up in the sky and that little sliver of moon will add a picturesque detail, but you might need a flashlight if you’re venturing too far through the grove. (Except for Ray, who can see exceptionally well at night.)
We are right on the edge of town. Just north of us, the Los Padres national forest begins and stretches all the way up Monterrey. We have lots of wildlife. Three deer were walking down our private road just a few days ago; we’ve seen bear tracks in the not-too-distant past and our son-in-law Gregorio has spotted a mountain lion on the far side of the property. We are overrun this year with bunnies, and just yesterday our other son-in-law Ron saw a hawk flying two feet off the ground, zooming down our gravel walk that connects our compound to the main kitchen and fire ring area. Last week when we were here, we spotted a very large gopher snake right under our Airstream, which caused me to have an ever-so-small scream. We did determine it was a gopher snake and not a rattler and since we have a gopher problem, we thought we’d let Mrs. Snake slither away to places not quite so close. She graciously accommodated, much to my relief.
There is a quiet peace here that’s difficult to describe.
And now Liz and Ron have five hens and a rooster. In fact, I better close because their rooster, Beaux Leigh, will be busy crowing beginning around 4:30 or 5.
Sleep well, my friends. I hope you can find a bit of quiet peace as well.
I’ll be checking back in with you again tomorrow.