Pantoll – A Pleasant Surprise

Fires raged in the Sierra mountains this summer, forcing my husband and I to cancel our long-awaited backpacking trip. So, what did we do instead? We thought “local!” We found Pantoll Campground located on Mt. Tamalpais that seemed like a good alternative for a peaceful getaway. Only a forty-minute drive from home, we felt like we had traveled hundreds of miles, entering into another world. Mt. Tam is a popular tourist attraction, but with packing up all the gear and necessities for camping, we always wanted to drive farther into the mountains. It’s funny how one setback unexpectedly leads to a pleasant surprise. Here’s a glimpse into our weekend…

A visitor quietly joined us in our site.
Our cozy accommodations.
Site #1 presented an open concept of a
raised dining and great room with a
rustic fireplace.
Our backyard, perfectly landscaped.
Hiking nearby with views of San Francisco Bay.
Boiling water in minutes for our freeze-dried
feast.
Our only fire because of the red flag warning
for the following day.
Our first beautiful sunset.
Coffee and a gorgeous sunrise. Ahhh…..
A different perspective.
Our once-a-year bacon splurge, using my mom’s
cast iron skillet
that must be about 100 years old!
We hiked to the outdoor mountain theater –
a wonderful, summertime cultural experience.
After hiking uphill a few miles, our legs were
ready for a break.
Back on the trail, views of the SF bay entertained
us again.
It’s all downhill from here. 🙂
Must be 5 O’Clock. Cheers!
Nature’s architecture.

Did you enjoy the scenery? I hope so! We’re glad to have found a local option now, maybe not for backpacking, but at least for camping and hiking. Here in sunny and drought-ridden California, everyone waits for some precipitation to reduce fire danger.
We hope to slip on those backpacks next year…

Thanks for popping in and stay safe,
Lauren ❤️❤️❤️

Ambience

All-consuming are these
Murky, long winter evenings
Becoming mood changers,
Impeding hours spent in daylight –
Except there is a means to
Navigate through the blackness…
Candles! Let them emerge from hiding;
Entertain their glow and coziness.

Thank you for stopping by
and stay warm!
Lauren
💓💓💓

Book Review: Magical Whispers by Balroop Singh

My 5-star review:

I have been a fan of Balroop Singh’s poetry for many years now. She has a magical way of weaving words together that mesmerize and inspire, which explains the spot-on title for her new poetry collection, Magical Whispers.

This beautiful edition is divided into two segments: Magical Whispers and Whispers of Life. The first segment effortlessly captivates as we read verses that truly convey Singh’s love and connection to Mother Nature. Since I am an avid hiker and backpacker, I resonate fully with each line and image the author paints with her enchanting poetic style. The poems that stand out for me are Stream Whispers, Celestial Lake, Love is Love, and Whispers of Soul.

The second segment touches on various components of life such as: love, dreams, sorrow, fear, and perseverance. Singh’s character holds a strong conviction that although life may be full of shadows, light always seeps through even if in tiny dewdrops. Her poetry expresses the epitome of strength and hope of which life cannot be lived to the fullest without. My favorites are Remember Me, Betrayers, Sentinels, The Magic of Love, and Sublime Sky. And yet, although I list a few poems that move me, Singh’s collection in its totality transports me into tranquility and reflection. Her book graces my home library so that I can sink into the magic of her verses over and over again. I highly recommend adding this lovely poetry book to your home library, as well.

Her book is available at:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08KJQ6K5D


US
 UK DE FR ES IT NL JP BR CA MX AU IN

Balroop Singh, a former teacher and an educator always had a passion for writing.  She is a poet, a creative non-fiction writer, a relaxed blogger and a doting grandma. She writes about people, emotions and relationships. Her poetry highlights the fact that happiness is not a destination but a chasm to bury agony, anguish, grief, distress and move on! No sea of solitude is so deep that it can drown us. Sometimes aspirations are trampled upon, the boulders of exploitation and discrimination may block your path but those who tread on undeterred are always successful.

When turbulences hit, when shadows of life darken, when they come like unseen robbers, with muffled exterior, when they threaten to shatter your dreams, it is better to break free rather than get sucked by the vortex of emotions.

Balroop Singh has always lived through her heart. She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waterfalls. The moonlight streaming through her garden, the flowers, the meadows, the butterflies cast a spell on her. She lives in San Ramon, California.

I encourage you to visit Balroop at her blog: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com/. While there, you can peruse her full collection of poetry books that she has published and find other ways to connect with her. Take a breath and dive into the magic and beauty of her words.

Thanks for stopping by!
Lauren 💕

Belonging

Do you trust me? Will you
take my hand and let me
lead the way to a place
transcending the boundaries
of our reality? Let us get
lost in the tranquility –
dancing to the majesty of
the surroundings, feeling the
rhythm vibrate through our
bones. For as long as our
hearts desire, this is our
destination. For time is
but a memory. Its existence
leaves no trace on the path
where we tread. There is
only you, me, and the
intensity of our belonging
to each other.

Lauren Scott © 2018

Common Ground

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I think of all the people who were led
to this quiet land by the stories in
their lives. Then I wonder if they had fled
from despair into this place to begin
again, to feel the magic from within
the beauty of the majestic giants
and to sense the calming stir of silence.
I hope their active minds found complete rest
in this shelter of spiritual guidance
and their ongoing journey remained blessed.

Lauren Scott © 2018
Photo: Hendy Woods State Park
(This is my first try at a Dizain poem,
and inspiration came from our recent
Redwood visit.)

 

A Rare Jewel

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We sit on the shore
feeling inconsequential
in its vast presence,
watching it sparkle
like a rare jewel
that has just been discovered

The dragonflies attend
in their tiny-jet manner
The damselflies gracefully flit about
with their delicate bodies,
and blue, iridescent wings

Then we close our eyes
as tiny threads of peace 
weave into our whole beings,
allowing worries to fall
like the cleansing of raindrops

How fortunate are we
to play a part with nature
in this moment of our existence –
for this point of time will soon transform
into a most profound memory

Lauren Scott © 2018
Photo: Loon Lake, El Dorado County, CA

 

Altitude

Not
a sound
can
be heard,
except
the wind’s
whisper
through the
evergreens
and an
occasional
chirp

Peace
flows
through
my
veins,
masking
any sliver
of concern
holding
me
in
chains

Fragrance
renews all
senses,
shifting my
state
of
mind,
releasing
any
tension

Gratitude
embodies
my heart,
with
my love
beside
me –
mesmerized
by
lakeside
beauty
and the
melody
of silence

Lauren Scott September 2017