Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

Although there are many meanings to the word reflections, I do like the one defined at the beginning of the post challenge.

Reflect: to consider where we’ve been in life, where we are now, and where we’re going.

When one reflects, as per this definition…environment is everything.  I found that I needed to find a place that I could go and think and be uninterrupted by everything else in the world.

Ed Levin County Park is that place for me. When I have gone, I haven’t had a camera with me so I have borrowed other people’s pictures to share with you.

My first sight when arriving to the parking lot was the hang gliders and para gliders.

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Sometimes life gives you a beating or you find yourself at a crossroad facing a difficult decision,  The walls seem to be closing in and every day activities can be oppressive….It is at those times that seeing the carefree transport of people gracefully gliding through the air makes all the difference in the world.  For the moment, you are transported back to Greek Mythology when Icarus tried to escape Crete by flying off the cliff.  You ponder this parallel of escape… the beauty of of this sport captures your attention.  And you shortly discover that you have emerged from the insides of your head…you realize there is room to breathe…the exploration and reflection can begin…you are ready for a short hike.

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I guess short is relative…it’s about a three mile hike up…but the views are worth it!  If you care to join me on a virtual hike, someone kindly posted it on the web with some stunning shots of the scenery.  The hills are green so this is most likely a winter or spring hike. Perfect! The nice thing about a virtual hike is that you don’t have to worry about water, snacks, sunscreen, windbreakers…and CAMERAS 😉  Well, come along now…right this way (click here).  We’ll only go as far as the junction of the Agua Caliente Trail and the Monument Peak Trail…but you’re free to look at more pictures as they show “looking back” from where they (I) have hiked.

The only thing that is missed on this virtual hike is the depth of the scenery so I am adding some more photos.  There have been times where I have been able to see as far as 50 miles north and south of the park on the same day.  The trick is to catch a clear day…so you can see it all.

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These views are beautiful but do not really reflect what it is like to be up on top of a hill looking down at the San Francisco Bay Area. Remember the old game King of the Mountain?  There is a sense of power you have when you are atop of the mountain…even as a child. That sense is really amplified in real life.

Your next thought might possibly be the realization that this is just a small piece of the world…there is so much more that you cannot even see…just around the corner. Suddenly the things in life that are weighing you down seem insignificant as you realize the vastness of this planet…and the choices you have at your disposal.  Dare I say…you might even feel Big! No,…LARGE!!  That burnt out, lack of energy feeling is now completely gone and you have SPACE…lots and lots of wonderful SPACE. There are no walls to crowd you in!

I love this place because I know, if I need it I can always get space…It has become my sacred place.  I am so excited to be going back to California this year…just for a visit.  It’s been too long since I have seen my daughter and grandson and it’s easier for me to travel to them.  While I am there I plan to visit with a few friends…and to visit my sacred place.  I promise, this time to bring my camera and take my own pictures.  I will try to take a panorama style so you can get a better idea of what it feels like to be King of the Mountain for a day.

One last thing…a little treasure I found on the web.  If you want to get a bird’s eye view of what it’s like to hang glide at Ed Levin, click here.  As you can see the hills are no longer green which is why California is often referred to as the Golden State. The subject in the video has gone to the highest hill, much farther than I hiked (all the way up as shown on the virtual tour)… this clip is also two runs down the hill.  I only hiked a little higher than the water tower which you can see at 4:15 on the video…but even still…some incredible views.

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