The following post was written by guest blogger Kate Gale, founder of Red Hen Press. Red Hen is a non-profit literary publishing company based in Granada Hills. Their web site is http://www.redhen.org. Kate's blog is at http://kategale.wordpress.com.
I wake up early, often when the morning is just lightening the sky. I run past El Oro Way School, past Van Gogh School, rebuilt after the earthquake, and I get to O'melveny Park. I turn at the park and run along Sesnon until I get to Balboa. The light is filtering in through the burnt-out tree trunks and sometimes on a weekend there's someone riding a horse. A horse against the burnt-out tree trunk that is now bursting green is like the beginning of the world. I run 60 miles a week beside O'Melveny and up into the park often. I hear the wind coming down the canyon and I'm glad I live somewhere so close to the sky. It's one of the best things about Granada Hills. It's a great break from editing and writing. It's getting a little hot though, I'm having to run earlier and earlier.
O'Melveny Park is the reason I moved to Granada Hills in the first place. That and Balboa Gifted Elementary School.
O'Melveny is a beautiful park where you can hike, picnic, mountain bike, you can climb to the top of a hill and see the whole Valley on a clear day. Of course when you're up there you start wondering why live in the Valley in the first place; you can see the smog spread out forever.
Last year when the park caught on fire, they evacuated our neighborhood. We stayed, crouched in our house and waited it out, probably unwisely considering how hard it is to get out during a fire. I've seen coyotes, rattlesnakes, bobcats and lots of lizards in the park. I don't think I would want to live so far down into the city that I couldn't walk to some place like O'Melveny, where I could forget that I'm in a city at all. Of course the downside is fire and the fact that our cats and chickens get attacked by predators. Now we only have six or seven cats left, some of them I don't even know their name. Another one just got killed by a coyote in the front yard the other day.
There are goods and bads being so near a great park, mostly good. It floods sometimes, water and earth rushing. O'Melveny is like the beginning of the world, fire, water, predators, and us, walking through it all, on quiet feet. That's the point, there's no noise. We must have escape places with no noise so that we can think, so that we might actually do something.