Monday, December 10, 2012

Above Hollywood

He didn't want a birthday party this year, that boy of mine.
"After all, I'm turning eleven, Mom," he said."What I'd like to do is go on a hike with you and dad. All the way to the top of that range we're always pointing at."

My husband and I exchanged glances.
Really? A hike?
Instead of a birthday party?
Was he feverish?
Or is this how childhood ends, with a casual sentence on a morning like any other, with no advance notice, no bang and no whimper?

* * * * *
So hike we did.
And glad we were.
Because every step... 
(The Hollywood Hills, December 9th, 2012. All photos by LBG.)

...was an adventure...


...and every vista was indescribably beautiful. 
(Looking west to Griffith Park Observatory.)

City life seemed very far away. Up here, there was no holiday madness. No 21st century buzz. Just stillness. And light. And air.

And gratitude.


(Mount Hollywood marker, 1519 feet elevation.)

On the way down, Luca forged his own trail. 

He led us into a dense grove of cedar trees on the edge of a steep promontory. Locals call it "The Secret Garden of Griffith Park." It's the kind of place where even the sun needs a special invitation to enter.

And there, in a little clearing, we stumbled upon this. 



Have a great week.

x/Lisa

28 comments:

ArchitectDesign™ said...

that might possibly be my most favorite Christmas tree of all time!

Merry Wife said...

Happy birthday to your boy. He's quite the adventurer!

Thank you for sharing your photos too. I especially liked the one of the horses at the look-out.

Purple Flowers said...

A most beautiful Colorful tree in the thick of the woods. I think it's great all your son wanted for his Birthday was to hike in the woods with his parents. That speaks volumes about you and your husband. Happy Birthday Luca!

Jane said...

So beautiful Lisa. You are lucky to have those hills to hand.

My daughter is 10 and I can already see hints of that transformation from little girl to young teenager. A part of me just wants her to keep playing with dolls.

Luca is looking grown up.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Magic.
Happy Birthday to the eleven year old!
Just the age when all of Harry Potter's adventures began!
xo,
p

Janelle said...

gosh. how lucky are you to escape a birthday PARTY and go hiking up there instead...? looks stunning. love from tanzania. x j

Veronica Roth said...

Happy birthday to Luca! I remember when Chloe announced that for her 9th birthday she didn't want prezzies any more, she wanted donations to the SPCA. I thought that was a sign but childhood went on for loads more years.

About that lovely, little tree. Don't you just love the thoughtfulness of some people? Someone decorates a little tree on a popular forest walk in Vancouver too. No idea who does it but the tree is there each Christmas. :)

Shelley said...

It's almost always worth going someplace different! Great photos.

louise said...

Such a lovely post and how magical to find that tree! Happy Birthday to your son.

lsellers said...

The end of childhood? Perhaps. But he's turning into a fine young man indeed. Thanks for sharing.

Diane James Home said...

What a magical birthday adventure that is bound to bring more to come! I love the little Christmas tree and the person(s) who spread the holiday joy for all to share. Wishing you a week of peaceful moments, Cynthia

House Of Hemingway said...

I got teary eyed reading this. I remember reading his past adventures and knowing he's growing up so quick makes me melancholic. My favorite story of him is when you two were in London and you were in a book store trying to choose books for him while he had a list of his own.

Happy Birthday Luca, may you continue to grow and become a fine man.

xx-Luce

www.houseofhemingway.com

House Of Hemingway said...

I got teary eyed reading this. I remember reading his past adventures and knowing he's growing up so quick makes me melancholic. My favorite story of him is when you two were in London and you were in a book store trying to choose books for him while he had a list of his own.

Happy Birthday Luca, may you continue to grow and become a fine man.

xx-Luce

www.houseofhemingway.com

amydawnrose said...

magical in every way. that tree, in a funny way, restores my faith in humanity:)

thomasina said...

Hi Lisa,
I've been reading your blog for years and so enjoy it - I'm in Sydney in a Californian Bungalow with a penchant for F.Scott Fitzgerald,Indian textiles, etc... last night my 11 year old son and I went to see 'The perks of being wallfower'- I'm appreciating this stage when we can now talk about the same movie. Thanks for your blog and all the best writing your book :)jane

Melissa Kojima said...

Oh, what a special birthday hike. I think he made the right decision to forgo a party. I love the photos you took and what a lovely surprise on your way back down. Happy holidays to you and all your lovely blog readers!!!

Rebecca said...

You've raised a GOOD one! Congratulations. He IS forging his own path. May it ever be happily so.

And what an amazing surprise at the end of the hike. It took my breath away.

Lisa said...

what a beautiful birthday request! beautiful boy - reflecting his parent's love! reminds me of this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5BBEOjUKrI lisa from japan

Suzanne said...

Thanks for sharing this hike with us, the photos are so beautiful, and it feels like we are being there with you.

Have a Merry holiday and a bit of time to enjoy it.

decogirlmontreal.com

Wasim Ahmed said...

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Kim Grey said...

Eleven is a wonderful in-between age. My partner's eldest daughter just turned 11 this week. We are seeing how she is shifting from little girl to pre-teen. It is a subtle transformation, it seems.

What gorgeous views on your hiking adventure! And a surprise Christmas tree found in the forest. Sounds like a wonderful way to spend a birthday--or any day.

Jamie Herzlinger said...

Looks like an amazing time...a great day for a hike! Thanks for sharing.

Love, Jamie Herzlinger

noreen said...

my boy is 11, too. a great age - pre-teen and awesome. what a beautiful family memory you made! joy to you, and happy birthday to your son.

Terra said...

Such a Christmas tree; you must go next year and find it, and bring some ornaments with you! Well, it could be fun. How neat your son chose this adventure.

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Terra: What a great idea! We will DEFINITELY do that.

Lizbethem said...

What a lovely post! God bless Luca. Incredible that you found a decorated tree!

a n t o n n i a said...

My heart soars for you.

Wasim A said...

Hello!

I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the great info you have here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for more soon.


Man and Van Guildford

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