I don’t remember what season it was. Just that it was in the early morning before the sun came up. I dressed myself in blue jeans, t-shirt and a blue jeans jacket with Dove written on the back. I went down to Sony’s corral. I dressed him up for a long ride. I had some money in my pocket. Parents did not have a clue, only Ruff and her horse knew where we were going. But we were going in defiance to their repeated no’s. We were hitting that unknown trail to the beach. We did not know how we would get there, besides on the back of our horses.
We knew our way to Mulholland. The wild Santa Monica trails are old fire roads of adventure. We road towards the west / south sands of Topanga beaches. The Pacific Coast Highway were shining dreams to us. Ruff wondered how her horse would respond to the sound of waves. I told her I craved riding Sony galloping over salty ocean foam!
A long ride over the hills emptied us in the middle of Old Town Topanga. In the center of town was an old gas station. Ruff and I took turns at the bathroom. While I was alone in the restroom two women held me hostage. Crazy women that laughed as I confronted them. I ran for the door and didn’t look back. I heard them laughing as we jumped on our horses and trotted away with fingers in the air. The sun was overhead. We walked the horses along the heart of Topanga. The traffic was building up which was dangerous for us as any biker.
The canyon turned and we rode as determined as a couple of teenage girls can get.
“Hold on, I think we can head down one of these trails and ride a stream towards the beach. What do you think?”
“OK, let’s do it!”
We took the wrong path. Sony started slipping on falling rocks. I fell off Sony. I rolled down a hill landing on a big bouquet of fragrant ocean fennel. Sony took off by himself. He ran back towards the center of Topanga. Ruff helped me on to the back of Raubie and we galloped towards Sony. I was terrified that he might run into a car. After a few moments, we found Sony eating some grass on the side of the road. I hopped over my horse, and we found another trail towards a stream.
“Hold on, don’t you ever tell my mom what just happened! Or Raubie will be gone for sure!”
“Ruff, OH YA!”
The four of us traversed the spotty streams. Waterfalls, large boulders, and deep pools of sparkling water filled us with beautiful wild silence. We stopped and rested for the food that Ruff packed. A couple of sandwiches, a coke, and carrots for the horses. Ruff was a mastermind of probabilities because she read so many damn books! We both had a wild wonder in our bellies that pulled us on.
On the right side of Topanga Canyon, we came upon a large pond. The water was deep enough where the horses could swim downstream. A scream from Ruff alerted me to danger! Raubie turned around in the pond with Ruff on him. Ruff swam up from under her horse. Ruff was pissed. I tied Sony’s hackamore reins to a nearby tree and jumped into the pond. I got Raubie on land. Ruff followed safely. We were both soaked to the skin.
Four hours and we were almost there.
“I swear I can hear and smell the ocean waves Ruff!”
At Topanga Canyon and Pacific Coast Highway we crossed on a green light. Traffic raced by. Two miles down on either side was a long fence. The beach was fenced off. We stood there with the horses’ ears sticking straight up. The waves crashed as our dreams dropped. Regardless, it is a magical moment etched in my heart.
“Hold on, I think it is time to get back before our parent’s start to worry about us.”
It was a long cold ride home. The sun set by the time we got there. I could hear Ruff’s mom screaming at her, in German, across our small valley. It echoed as my dad, and I laughed. Dad was drunk on the porch looking over the San Fernando Valley lights. My mom had me take off my clothes before I entered the house. Into the wash they went. I cleaned up, dressed, and went back outside. I told Dad about my adventure as we sat and watched the valley lights together.
Saying goodbye to my family home that I was born to and grew up in is difficult. Seeing Coyote Hill as one of the last hills not to be claimed by a house is rewarding and comforting to me.
On top of Coyote Hill one can almost see the whole San Fernando Valley. Warner Center, turning, Canoga Park, turning, Topanga Canyon, turning, the Santa Monica Mountains, turning and then back to Woodland Hills; then to the house where I grew up.
It is close to a 360-degree view. Climbing to the top of Coyote Hill was a natural workout depending on the time of year. In summer and autumn, it is mostly dry dirt. During winter towards spring the hill had all sorts of wild weeds, flowers and herbs. My favorite time is when the tall green grass and the purple lupine grew. The worst time is the beautiful but dangerous wild purple thistle that tore up your legs or the fox tails that got caught in my socks.
How many times did I climb Coyote Hill to get away to the place where silence was reachable? I followed the peaceful breeze and experienced the free and wonderful cool blowing sounds of life.
Silence is a peaceful feeling inside than the absence of sound. Coyote Hill supplied all the silence a growing child needed!
While walking or driving by in-car or on my bike, I have watched a few wild coyotes take the path up this hill. Once on the very tip-top one turned to look at me.
My mom’s dreams come true.
She told us about the dreams she had where houses would be built up all around our home. Houses cover the hills now, but not Coyote Hill. As kids, my friends and I would tear down the realtor for sale signs to stop the builders. We could not stop them.
In my dreams I see a big gazebo on Coyote Hill. A path climbs up to it and a path down the other side. It is a free place for anyone to experience wild silence. In my dream I interfere with the natural cycle and plant some native California plants mixed with lots of lavender, rosemary and sage. I would also supply some sort of water source for the dry months of summer and autumn.
I felt my feet pivoting and then I was on my tip toes
Between dreaming and sleeping early this morning I saw Jupiter. The image was not from a telescope or from a remembered picture, or from a book. It is not like any other image I’ve seen before of Jupiter. I was close and looking down upon this planet and its amazing golden, creamy, reddish, and brown colors. I was at a remote distant viewing of Jupiter. My feelings awakened to Jupiter’s majesty.
I then whispered this to my husband as he kissed me before going to work,
“I am viewing Jupiter… ”
The door closed as he left and I fell back to sleep. I caught three scenes from a fast-moving dream play which is fading fast as I type. First I was with Sony again. A white mustang I had as a kid. I was riding and we were on our way to the Santa Monica mountains. The next scene I was about to dance. I looked at a young adult male who did not know how to dance. It was ballroom dancing. I took his hands and we proceeded to dance around the room. The room was full of music, laughter and we were moving fast. I felt my feet pivoting and then I was on my tip toes.
The last scene which was an irritating irradiance and flowing
The last scene which was an irritating irradiance and flowing theme of a guy on a bike with a black t-shirt pedaling fast. I tried to follow him but lost him in my fast-moving dream; because he was going in the opposite direction.
I awoke with my senses swirling within me and around me as a soft breeze; happy that I caught some dream memory and wondering what Jupiter was whispering to me, this God of Sky and thunder.