Silent Night

On the high fire roads there were wooden stakes with pink, plastic strings functioning as flags. I pulled them up whenever I saw one and tossed it into the bushes. “They’re going to put a freeway through my park!” was my one thought. “I’m not going to make that easy for them.”

Then I learned it was an extension to a freeway I used sometimes to go to a canyon where I sometimes walked the dogs. The 52. I felt betrayed. I didn’t know this had been in the works for years before I even know of the park or, maybe, even moved to California. I kept pulling up stakes, but it didn’t matter because they’d started grading the road bed.

Then, they found little horses, remains of little horses, where they had planned to put a bridge. “This’ll stop them, I thought. No bridge for this highly important paleontological sight.” But no. They just dug up some horses to study, left the rest of them there, and built a bridge.

Then it was built, but it didn’t open, and it didn’t open, and it didn’t open. “What’s going on?” I wondered.

Events conspired to bring me to the park one December night. As I was heading down the hill with my dog, Molly, I was struck by the silence of the chaparral. It wasn’t a very pretty night; lots of ocean mist, no visible stars, just a night, but so very, very quiet. Molly and I slowed down to enjoy it.

The next day the road opened. I will always think that my being there on the last silent night was a specially conferred blessing.

4 thoughts on “Silent Night

  1. Reminds me of Arthur Dent and the bypass. And the hyperspace bypass that required the demolition of earth. Minor planet, no big deal. SEP, right? I suppose one of the best parts of living where we do is that there is absolutely NO reason to put in a major road. We have one. Just one. And it’s more than adequate.

    • Yep. I thought of that all the time they were building this stupid thing which has caused all kinds of problems as it has succeeded in helping people get from one anonymous neighborhood to another. 🙂

  2. All in the name of progress. If you can build it then do it – no matter if something is in the way. Years later no-one will remember.

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