There are very few oasis-type escapes from the technological craziness that is Silicon Valley. Vasona Park in Los Gatos is one of them. This south bay playground is one that most of the valley inhabitants are too busy to find except on weekends.
Between naps and looking for a suitable job, I often come here. Since I now live in the valley of my youth instead of the beaches of Santa Cruz. My one mile walks here are more meditative saunters, as getting the heart rate above about 120 beats per minute will help me find a bench within minutes. This is a blessing since my main point, besides sunshine, gentle breezes and a bit of exercise, is to attune to silence, pointed to so beautifully in natural surroundings.
I arrived today via Vasona’s back entrance adjacent to the Pepper tree group picnic area, which happens to be the site of my wedding celebration about 17 years ago. Within minutes I was walking by a small group of children slowly chasing a flock of geese along a grassy meadow. A lone Great Blue Heron, tip-toed ever so gingerly about 15 feet away from me. According to animal speak experts, the Blue Heron has deep wisdom, is self-determined and points to the need to follow the inner promptings of our heart.
I dropped down to creek level. It was flowing slowly and a couple different duck species floated about. I walked along a path that had a line of madrone trees on one side and a canopy of eucalyptus on the other. When I reached the man-made lake, a white egret was on the shoreline and a squirrel just a few feet away was digging for some hidden food stash or root scraps. A Chinese fishermen had his pole in the water, the line dangling loosely, attention focused on a smart phone. Artificial intelligence has such a strong allure, that even when we visit a place of natural beauty, some find it hard to leave their robotic friends behind.
As my 25 minute, 1-mile stroll was coming to a close, I turned to ascend the finishing 100 yard stretch, for me an epic 2-3 percent grade. My pulse rate hit the 120 bpm magic-marker and I was forced to stop under a large oak tree. Just then a few birds, directly above me, began to sing. It was pure bliss, songbird dialect, which I was not quite able to translate.
There was no need. The transmission of grace could not be missed.
I am so grateful to have enough energy to still make short walks like this and be in a sanctuary that sends out a reverberating call to slow down, maybe even stop and get still, listen even, perhaps turn within.
Who knows, in doing so, one might catch a glimpse of Eternity and find their Essential Self and disregard the ceaseless barrage of noise that permeates this valley.