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Creek Running North

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December 09, 2003


Dropped Zeke off at the vet this morning. The current hypothesis is some oral/dental problem: he had been trying to yawn all morning and cutting it short instead of opening his mouth all the way, with a visible wince in reaction. When the vet and I tried to open his mouth for a look past the front row of teeth, he screamed. Poor little guy, and yet it's a bit of a relief to think his malaise may be something acute and correctable, as opposed to some lingering metabolic horror. We'll see.

I am now trying desperately to work to distract myself, deliberately not eyeing the clock and consciously not pacing near the phone waiting for the vet's call.

On my way back from the vet, I watched the mist play among the trees on Mount Wanda. The eponymous Wanda was John Muir's daughter, and the mountain that bears her name was part of the Muir-Strenzel estate in Martinez. During the years in which old John found his livelihood interfered with his ability to head for the Sierra Nevada, he'd ramble on Mount Wanda and commune with his beloved California landscape.

John's buried somewhere nearby, his final home these last 90 years. A freeway separates his house from Mount Wanda, whose blue and valley oaks today are turning a pale yellow against the live oaks' sturdy green. The freeway is named after Muir, an insult to match El Capitan. In the old orchard, there's a Sequoiadendron giganteum that Muir planted. A couple years ago, I placed my hand on its bark and silently thanked its planter.

A goal: to have one of the trees I've planted inspire even the slightest bit of gratitude in someone who passes by after I'm gone.

Posted by Chris Clarke at December 9, 2003 01:57 PM TrackBack URL for this entry:

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Poor dog. Poor owner!

I hope that the vet finds out soon what's wrong and that it is something easily fixable.

The idea of a freeway named after Muir is mind-boggling.

Posted by: Rana at December 11, 2003 10:50 AM
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It's good to know that Zeke is okay.

As to the highway named after Muir... it's hard to make sense of what was going on in the minds of the people who thought of naming the highway... obviously they knew about Muir. Didn't they bother to find out what he was about? Or did the significance of what they did just pass them by without even a slight cringe?

Posted by: butuki at December 11, 2003 08:01 PM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs