You can learn more about this 20 min. a Day Exercise, and why I think the experience can provide interesting opportunities for Writing Prompts, in the Introductory Post.
Today was the day the Challenge began, and I walked a little over a mile, along a bike trail in North Santa Ana, to a spot along the trail in South Orange.
Question #1: What time does the sun rise and set in your area?
Dawn in these parts was at 602am, and Sunrise was at 627am.
Sunset was at 719pm, and Dusk was at 744pm.
Quote to Ponder:
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
When I decided to do this I had 2 places in mind.
One was in a Regional Park which would have required me to ride my bike uphill 3 miles on one day each week, to reach it, because the bus doesn't go far enough on Sundays.
One was several yards off a bike trail, in Orange, very close to home.
I chose the 2nd spot. ;-D
A year ago I did a story about cycling in Santa Ana that shared pictures, and my thoughts, about this river trail:
The ride begins by climbing up out of the parking lot, and entering the Santiago Creek Trail, on the right.
As you approach the Archery Range, and an old bridge, things get interesting, and a bit mysterious, right away, as you encounter stone walls and old stone steps leading into the creek bed for some long forgotten reason.
At .66mi. you enter old Hart Park, near Grand Ave. & the Garden Grove Freeway.
Already you will have begun to encounter walkers, people with their Dogs, and cyclists, more so on weekends, along the trail.
They are mostly Hispanic, and young, including families, but you will encounter Caucasians, and elderly, as well.
Entering Hart Park you pass the old parking lot with its old rock walls and steps, & past picnic areas, and baseball fields, taking in, especially on weekends, the many families at picnic and play, and more than a few cyclists as well.
Moments later it's just you, the trail, and the empty river bed, again.
As you pedal along, going under a couple of bridges, you pass places where walkers can get off the trail, and explore the plant, and animal, life closer to the trail.
You may encounter young cyclists who have set aside their bikes to sit along the banks of the creek, almost hidden from view.
I encountered an old man, with a bike, who originally intended to go to the park, but instead became sidetracked by a beautiful patch along the trail where he chose to set up his folding chair, and settled down to read his Bible closer to God than a noisy park would allow on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
At 1.97mi. you come up out of the trail at Tustin Ave, and La Veta.
The creek trail may someday be extended further east, and many cyclists can't wait to experience such an extention....
The spot I chose is closer to Hart Park than the spot the man with his Bible chose.
It also has a bench to sit on, but there are also a couple of trees (1 good for climbling), and some huge logs suitable to sit, and lay, on.
This is all on a partially cleared outcropping overlooking the creek bed overrun with bushes, weeds, and trees, through which not only a stream runs, but several narrow dirt trails.
I arrived at 240pm, and a couple walking their Dogs helped me take several pics, only 3 of which were useable because my camera is having issues that may result in me getting a new one soon. ;-D
The idea was to sit there for 20 minutes, jot down some thoughts, and observations, and move on...but, as the old saying goes...the best laid plans... ;-D
Here is what I wrote...
As I sit here I can barely make out homes on the opposite bank of the creekbed, and am surrounded by the sights, and sounds, of many types of Birds, not to mention a Squirrel, or 2, making its way quickly down the trail as the wind blows through.
Sitting here I think about todays quote, and I truly don't know how best to answer it without appearing to ramble all over the place.
I recently turned 50, and 32 years ago I thought I knew what I was going to do with my life...but things didn't turn out the way I thought after 4 years of college.
After college, with a BS Degree I didn't know how to best put to use after learning, after getting it, not before setting out to get it, that my eyesight was too screwed up to get certain jobs, I finally let my love of writing, reading, and books, take me into a career in a Bookstore.
That was 1984.
6 yrs. into that career, my Mom had just died, and I thought I knew what I was going to do with my life as I became a Manager in that Bookstore chain while I struggled with the loss of my best friend, and #1 cheerleader.
A lonely, single, man with no life, and no friends, and a job that, I would in a few years begin to realize, led nowhere.
In 1998 I got a Kitten, a computer, and went bankrupt. ;-D
Slowly, day by day, week by week, I came out of my long creative shell as I joined the Online World, made friends, some of whom I would meet in person, including on trips out of state, in the next 3 years, and 3 of whom I've never met but who remain, to this day, close friends, and encouragers, as I have made my evolving creative journey via blogging that began in 2002.
It is because of them that I found an outlet for several "voices", deep within myself, aspects of a creative mind that had been dormant since college and, unknown to me, aching to express themselves.
It began with my Cat, then one day I was introduced to the new medium of Blogging, and it was expanded to include Bicycling, Genealogy, other interests, and my humor, and opinions, on the important issues of the day.
Thanks to a 60's era Socialist, with a gift for teaching poetry, I soon discovered my own talent for this amazing creative outlet as well.
Over 8 yrs., and several blogs, I wrote, and wrote, and wrote, becoming an active member of the Community of "New Journalists" that is the Blogosphere, and though my audience was tiny I got many commenters, lots of encouragement from many surprising people, and made some cool new friends along the way, getting quoted in a book, and plugged at a Convention, as well as being asked to make 2 presentations on Bicycling in front of audiences.
I retired one blog, and started another, believing that maybe, in my cycling blog, my creative writing, and poetry, lay the path to changing my life for the better.
Aside from my poetry, and humor writing, and my opinions on life, the universe, and everything, the one "voice" that has been a constant in my creative life, these last 12 yrs., has been that of my Cat, Nikita.
Even "The Cycling Dude" has not been a part of my life for as long.
The last 2 years saw "Nikita" slowly become an active part of that part of the Blogosphere where Cats who Blog, and those who blog about them, interact, and as interest in his writing, as part of my blogs, grew I began to realize just how special this side of my creative life was, actually read even more than my Bike Journalism ever has been (100-200 hits a day on Cycling Dude, but most are Google Searchers who don't stick around if they don't find what they are looking for.)
So what do I plan to do with the rest of my life as I venture forth into the back side of 50?
I don't know, for sure, but after setting Nikita up with his own blog (Meowsings of an Opinionated Pussycat), on New Year's Day, and seeing him slowly evolve into something I didn't expect over the last 3 months, I can't help but think that maybe my future lies not just with my talent for poetry, humor, stories, and jounalistic writing skills (Writing about Cycling, and other interests), but with "Nikita" (50 -150 vistors a day, visitors who read, and comment, and explore the blog and, most importantly keep coming back for more.), and his successor (He IS 12 afterall, and won't live forever as much as I might wish him to.).
I wish, now, that I'd had the forsight to give him his own place years ago (With Nikita off on his own THIS blog saw a drop in traffic, at first, but has been holding steady at about 40, and recently more, a day and, like Meowsings, those folks are readers, though not much into commenting yet.). ;-D
There is much I still don't know about using my computer, and taking advantage of Social Networking, and other tools, to publicize myself, and Nikita, or about turning my blogging into a revenue generator, not to mention how to get paid for my writing, or being better at finding the time, and resources (When your rent takes most of 1 of your paychecks each month that certainly doesn't help!), for doing all this.
Truth to tell...I sometimes find myself a bit overwhelmed by the thought of it all.
I am not the same person I was 12 years ago.
I have changed in so many ways that I've lost count, learning new skills, and discovering things about myself, and my capacity for growth, that I could never have dream of way back then.
I aim to look into taking some concrete steps, in the days ahead, and see where it all leads.
Uh, oh...just glanced at my watch!
How in the hell did 20 minutes evolve into 2 hours, for crying out loud! ;-D
People passing by on foot, or on bikes, alone, or with their Dogs, or other people, have gone unnoticed as I sat here reflecting on my past, and wondering about the future...
It's time I go home.
I'll return to this spot each day, for 29 more days, and see where all this communing with natures, and myself, will take me.
I might even bring a timer so I don't over stay my visits. ;-D30-Day Sit Spot Challenge: Day 2