Hiking through Marin's Drake Estuary takes me back to my teenage years; the sights, smells and sounds of a childhood long gone yet still alive in the warm breezes tickling my memories. My mother's favorite weekend pasttime was to drive from our San Francisco residence to Marin's many wildlands. Sunday was "Family Day" and somewhere in Marin was where you could find us nearly every single weekend.
When I return here, I remember where I got my love for all things of nature's blues and greens. My favorite colors are pine forest and mint field greens against indigo oceans and baby blue and midnight skies. Marin is all about these colors in every direction.
The wildflowers of Marin are bursting forth after a recent hint of rain (luckily having misted the forests and fields before we arrived)!
The forests are teeming with new growth...
...and the poppies astound with their ability to cling to life in the most unlikely places
...except in my soggy front yard at home where I've tried to cultivate them for two years in a row.
Here I am breathing the smells my mother so loved, taking in the sights that filled her soul as they now fill mine. And every so often, as I gaze out on what a friend recently called "God's Country", I hear and feel the sigh of my mother's contentment breathe past my shoulder like a kiss~ kisses in whisps of cut grass, hot pine needles and hearty sunshine caressing spring blooms. I turn hoping to catch a glimpse of her face but am reminded once again, she is gone. But only as far as the next view, the next sweet scent, the next happy giggle that erupts from me but sounds startlingly like her!
Photographs copyright: Kirsten Steen