DAY THREE HUNDRED AND FIVE
November 1 is All Saints Day. The only reason I know this is because it is the birthday of one of my boyhood friends. Every year he made sure we knew it. I don't know why a young kid thought he was a saint of some kind but such is the mindset of children. I suppose he was Saint Bruce of Westminster, the patron saint of boyhood pals.
In honor of the day I thought about what Saintly hike I might do. I thought the three Saints would be good, the trifecta of San Jacinto, San Gorgonio and Mount Baldy (Mount San Antonio). The only problems were I had to work and such an undertaking would require 24 hours and a support crew. So much for that idea.
I settled on the Palm Desert Cross. When I started this crazy endeavor the Cross was my first hike of the year. If I'd actually done any planning I could have made it my traditional first hike of each month but I didn't think that far ahead.
When I got out to do the hike the moon was already well up above the horizon. I'd be coming back after the sunset so with the moon so high I knew a flashlight wouldn't be necessary. Getting out of my vehicle I heard the sound of music playing. It was someone playing Amazing Grace on the flute, quite fitting for All Saints Day.
The flautist left and I wondered what music might be appropriate from the selections on my iPod. I decide on A Love Supreme by Saint John of Coltrane.
The weather is perfect and the light magnificent.
If a moment could be saintly, this moment would be.
When I get to the top, the cross still hasn't come on quite yet.
Let there be light.
And the light was good. I sit down at the top and just enjoy the view of the city below, the moon above and the glow of the cross. As the music of A Love Supreme ends I decide to play My Favorite Things, another Coltrane album on the way down.
Hiking in moonlight is unquestionably one of my favorite things.