L.A. Basin has 4 hilly/mountainous areas around us – Santa Monicas, San Gabriels, Santa Anas (Saddleback, above O.C.), and Palos Verdes Peninsula, not as high but full of broken shale (cemented clay). I’ve been thinking a lot about decorative rocks this summer, as I added ‘many’ to both my dad’s and my front gardens, re-landscaping to a desert-y look to reduce water use. My gardener brought a pick axe Sunday afternoon and we took out more of the ‘bad grass,’ lay plastic and 15 more bags of bark mulch. I’d transplanted 11 multiplied aloe + 4 new aloe, so there’s a design to it, but it needs more rocks to be beautiful.
I also have about 20 smaller succulents that I’m going to move from smaller to bigger pots, and there’s a nearby thrift store that has a lot of weedy succulents that I’m going to go bargain for, as they look so neglected. Some don’t like bright sun; some stay dormant without it.
My favorite rock formation in the Santa Monica Mountains is the Sespe, visible at Old Topanga and Red Rock, top of Corral Canyon Road, near Pepperdine, and exposed along PCH where the pinkish rock folds are near vertical. I want some of these broken pink rocks for my yard, but not to ‘steal’ them from a natural protected park or reserve.
It’s the same with San Gabriels granite and sparkly schist: I have one of the latter in my backyard, but was afraid to put it in front lest someone be too tempted to steal all the beautiful, natural ‘bling.’
I’ve been reading about King Solomon (1 Kings 2-11), how he built and decorated the temple and his palace with precious metals, in “splendor.”
My house is more wood-and-lace, quilts and North-Woods cabin than gems. Anything valuable, I’d worry about being stolen, even though I have a house alarm system.
When I prayed for free rocks at the beginning of the summer, I did not expect some to be thrown at my roof by drunk-mischief neighbors; and it shook me up. I am not sure why I have such chinks in my armor that I still feel sort of hurt by it: I forgave them, but their presence and ongoing untrustworthiness make me apprehensive. (Yesterday there was another bottle top on my back grass, but I didn’t hear another rocket or explosion.) In “Steal the Sky” (based on a true story), the Iraqi pilot tricked into coming to Israel, on seeing their map with the missile-carrying jets focused on Israel’s eastern border, says to the military generals, “This is how you see it, but this is how we see it,” turning the jets to face East, as their perception was they would be bombed.
That’s how I felt Sunday night after 1 a.m. when they were deliberately lighting things along the fence to land on my side. I was worried my trees would catch on fire.
As I said, the ‘force field’ kept explosions on their side; but the whole thing seems completely ironic that I would be decorating with more (larger) rocks. Beauty is inspiring, and re-creation of natural beauty in a ‘raw’ way, produces aesthetic pleasure. As I said, several neighbors walking by in cool evenings have commented that they like what I’m doing, as garden beauty is nonverbal, evocative.
I have to trust God. I haven’t figured out how to love people without being vulnerable.