Los Lumbres, CA
In the orchard, rows of trees stood like gnarled old men struggling to stay upright. Acres of antiquity -- French Plums from 1860’s, next to Blenheim apricots, persimmons and apple trees filled the vast orchard that at one time was the mainstay of the estate. Now, it was in need of restoration.
Lauren slowed the car, checked to make no one was around. She got out and walked among the trees closeest to the drive. The ground was soft from a recent rain. A doe at the end of the rows watched warily, ready to bolt, while another stretched, front feet lifted off the ground, to reach the apples left on the trees.
Old memories rose abruptly like old film images – four years old playing hide and seek between the trees, while migrant workers harvested the fruit; eight years old, taking afternoon strolls with Nana, listening to her stories of the Lady of Fire; twenty-two, Smiley’s blood, the German Shepard taking the bullet meant for her. Running -- scared and desperate, packing what she could. Disappearing.
A mourning dove perched on a persimmon tree called to her mate. Lauren zipped up her jacket against the breeze. No one was going to run her off again. She’d stay put until whoever was trying to kill her was arrested or he was successful in his mission.
I've been watching the protest in Madison. I am so proud of the people of WI and am sorry to have missed it. I would have been there. I've been protesting social injustice since the 70's when I marched for childcare at Nixon's summer White House in San Clemente, CA -- and the last one in DC last year. Making our voices heard is vital to protecting our freedom to speak out.