Under the Sycamores

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It’s Saturday morning.  I’m sitting in the park at my favorite picnic table for writing.  This park was being developed when we moved to Yorba Linda in the early seventies.  The trees were saplings back then, held up by stakes and wires.  They now provide shade to most of the picnic areas.  Every time the Santa Ana winds sweep down the canyons from the high desert, branches fall.  Some of the older trees give up the fight and tumble to the ground to be cut into firewood by the park rangers.  The survivors all lean westward, as if in homage to the prevailing winds.  There are many varieties of tree here … evergreens, poplars, oaks and a few liquid amber … but the sycamores, with their almost-white bark and twisted arms seem to thrive.  The shade I’m enjoying as I write is courtesy of two of these giants.

Today is a chore day … my daughter’s family is arriving tomorrow and there are things to get ready.  Of course, that means that Monday, there’s a good chance I’ll end up here with my grandkids.  I love that, seeing my park through their eyes, seeing how the things that still catch my eye … squirrels, ducks, the flash of a fish in the lake … catch theirs, too.  It makes me feel young even though it’s obvious that I’m not.  And Tuesday, we are all going to Disneyland for my birthday.  But for now, it’s quiet here in the park, except for some kids playing on the playground in the distance and a few birds singing to me from the trees.

This park has been part of my life for over forty years.  Yorba Regional Park has watched my family grow.  I’ve played here and prayed here.  I’ve written thousands of pages here with the trees looking over my shoulder, learning of my joys and sorrrows.  I’ve played here with my kids and my grandkids.  I’ve run, biked and walked here and taken a million pictures, many of which have showed up on Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog.  I said goodbye to my friend, Stan, here only a few months ago.  This park is sacred ground.  We’ve grown old together and there is no friend like an old friend.

This morning, I’m at peace Under the Sycamores.  Now, let the festivites begin.  Hello, seventy.

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