Friday I took a little trip to the top of Mt. Wilson. I had intended to go there two weeks ago, but life got in the way. I haven't been up there in years, only passed by Mt. Wilson Road a few times. This time, though I was almost stopped before I started, I drove to the top only to find that Skyline Park was closed until spring. There isn't much room outside the gates to park a car (and of course signs threatening a fine if caught), but I parked anyway, and got out for a quick view from the side that faces Los Angeles.
From that vantage point, the city is far below and one can forget the hustle and bustle, traffic, and the incredible amount of people surrounding one, that life there can be. Though the overall size of the city has impact even in that small slice (trees and the parts of the mountain that jut out from where I was make the view less than panoramic), it is much easier in the cold air with its sweet crisp qualities, and the lack of city background noise, to see the magic and possibilities.
There was a family in another car, (risking the same fine) who had parked there to let their children frolic in the snow. They were taking pictures and it was a typical southern California sort of thing- everyone had on sweatshirts and athletic shoes, not coats, boots and gloves- to play in snow. I have seen pictures of people in summer clothes and sweatshirts doing this very thing. We Angeleno's are a strange lot at times.
I didn't stay long; the view that I wanted wasn't this narrow one and I couldn't see any of the view to the north where it is entirely the San Gabriel's stretched out for seemingly forever. I wanted to be part of that, and out of my car without too much worry of rangers and scolding. I also wasn't inclined to sharing space in any of those moments with strangers.
On the drive back down I stopped at vistas and turnouts that appealed to me, the city out of sight in all directions. Hiking alone was out of the question, and even with only the tiny amount of melting snow, probably more dangerous than usual, so I only visited this place and that, never far from the car. But, I got what I needed.
The mountains gave me what they always do- a sense of centeredness, an ability to think in everything and all without any stress and scattered-ness, a sorting out and acceptance of all that comes and where ever it leads-- and feelings I can reach that are like deep cleansing breaths when I close my eyes.