We have let go of our frantic lust for the shiny metal in the Sacramento hills. It was hard for my grandfather, in coming west on horse and with wagon, dragging a family across the pimpled skin of the young land, to help John Sutter build his new empire. He then found that his dream of good land for ranching was subverted with easy gold.
Grandfather’s first home on the bank of the river: a tule hut, or grass hut, left behind by Mi-wuk Indians, who wandered with the elk and circulated with the wonderment of passing stars; no regard for what shined beneath them.
It’s in the luring poems and the stories that the old California adventure comes back to us. No one longer builds much with grass, and cannot so easily pick out fortunes by following the earth’s deep cracks.
Some would walk away from jobs and cities, bulging packs strapped on shoulders, and head up through the openings and narrowings of the valleys, and into the foothills of the Sierras. Camp beside ****** trout holes and dip into the riffled water at the edge of perfect green mirrors: to find what is precious and become free from the cycle of the frantic lust.