Any San Francisco, Bay Area resident can vouch for their fondness and love for living in this area. Being the Silicon Valley of the world and a Technology hub, it draws thousands to its fold every year. People flock to the area for the jobs but stay for the sheer number of outdoor options available within a short drive, offering a distinct lifestyle as compared to any other parts of the country. The miles of beaches by the Pacific Ocean are as easily accessible as the skiing haven of Tahoe. For anyone who loves wilderness and mountains, the allure of Yosemite is an easy draw. And if you are a wine lover, Napa and Sonoma are a must-visit destination.
I was similarly swayed by the pull of the region when I decided to immigrate from India, more than a decade back. Since then, I have spent a considerable amount of time in the Bay Area outdoors exploring its serene beaches, county parks, golf courses, biking trails, hiking trails, mountains, and wilderness within the area’s vicinity, a short drive away.
Over the years, I have been captivated by the abundance of natural beauty in the area and after every jaunt, I have come back rejuvenated. Sometimes, those feelings found utterances in a free verse or poetry – can you expect any better from a creative heart (figuratively speaking)? That said, you will find below a set of three poems inspired by my hikes to Monterey, Yosemite, and Lake Chabot.
Before we move onto the poetry section, let’s remind ourselves that we are blessed to live in this region of nature’s bounty. The environmental issue of climate change is real and poses enormous threats to the health of the Bay Area and its ecology – perhaps the last year’s raging wildfires were a manifestation of this threat. Conserving and protecting the forests and their habitat is imperative for sustainable development and for the future writers/poets to emerge from this area in the footsteps of John Muir, Jack Kerouac, or Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
Overlooking Lake Chabot
The white velvet
spread across the azure sky,
The gently undulating green slopes
Rolling hills and a deep blue oasis
flowing through the turquoise landscape.
The gentle breeze swaying my grown hair,
The feel of cool on my bare skin,
The panorama of the striking beauty
Soothing my tired eyes.
The climb across the overlook point,
And the gentle exertion of the legs,
The calmness of the surroundings
Radiating the stillness that calms the mind.
It’s in these Nature that,
the Zen of mind resides.
It’s in these outdoors that,
the sense of well-being pervades.
The setting sun casts
a golden streak
on the azure, transparent water.
The distant horizon
kisses the vast expanse of oceanic water.
The green vegetation doting the hillside,
swaying in the cool breeze
hustles sweet nothings in the ears.
The feel of the cool sand
beneath the feet
pleases every pores.
The waves lapping against the shore
rising and falling in a crescendo,
beckons me to its lap.
I plunge forth at their invitation,
wading through knee-deep water.
The gentle frothy waves
rhythmically caressing my body
elevates my senses to paradise.
My mind in magical ecstasy;
experiences a cool tranquility.
The evening at Monterey
is a sheer delight.
At Yosemite: a brush with life itself
Miles of verdant wilderness
The panorama of snow-capped hills
The majestic half-dome rising in splendor
Across the delightful Curry village.
Fluffy, velvety clouds
the cool zephyr
the humming alpine butterflies
wafting in thin air,
a herd of ‘mule deer’
galloping into the distant wood,
majestic waterfall in its vicinity
rushing through in all its grandeur,
the redolent ambience,
the unbridled silence
(except the ‘voices’ of nature)
nestling in the wilderness-
soaking me wet;
I stand alone
my inner self;
body in complete harmony
mind in immaculate peace,
spirit in blissful ecstasy;
I breathe again,
I can feel
the pulse of life
coursing through my veins.
After days of jejune existence,
I can sense again
the lightness of my being.
Lalit Kumar works in the Technology sector but retains an artist’s heart. He likes to read and write poetry, apart from indulging in outdoor activities & adventure sports. Recently, he started curating famous works of poetry (and occasionally his own).