Friday, June 26, 2015

Watch out for the tree!

Way back, in the social studies class in the old country, the textbook had a photograph of a car driving through a huge tree in California.  I bet I am not the only one from my class, from my school, who thought it would be cool to look at the tree in real life.

There are plenty of things we read about, hear about, that pique our curiosity.  But, not always are we able to follow-up on everything.  It is perhaps a good thing that we forget--else, our lives will be filled with disappointment after disappointment.

I never forgot about this tree.  When I came to California decades ago, I learnt that the drive through tree was in Yosemite, but that the tree fell years ago.  But that there were private ones.

Years went by.  I left California.

You see, many things in life require us to make them happen.  Rarely do they automatically happen. This time, on the way back from California, I knew was going to make it to to a drive-through tree.  I knew it because I was going to take the coastal route.

Sure enough, there were signs.  I exited.

"Is it a busy day?" I asked the woman at the counter as I handed her five dollars for the entrance fee.

A busy day it was.


The drive through the tree itself is what America is about.  An entrepreneurial mind cooks up an idea and then sells it.  We suckers fall for it, and give those creative minds our wallets.  "Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door" they say; we surely do drive the path to that doorway hollowed out in a tree.

And then there it was.


Soon that excitement was over, and I continued on.

I drove through the Avenue of the Giants.  I could begin to understand why Rockefeller donated the money to save the trees after his visit a century ago.  I stopped every few minutes to take it all in.


When I was parked at one place, I thought my vehicle deserved a thanks as well, inanimate it might be.  A 140-horse chariot that did not exist when I was a kid who read about the drive-through tree in a faraway place called California.


5 comments:

Kevin Kronenfeld said...

I did not pay at all for that; granted it was 10 in the morning and no one was present at the window. If you really want to see Redwoods, you have to drive through Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park near Crescent City.

Ramesh said...

Don't remember that text book at all. But then I wouldn't remember such things anyway. The Lords pavilion, Wimbledon, the Thames, Westminster Abbey ....more like it. No wonder I went in search of all of them (including Tunbridge Wells - figure that one out) in the first month I was in the UK.

Many things in life do require us to make it happen. Well said.

Sriram Khé said...

Hey Kevin, you checking out the redwoods before you head down under?
Hehehe, you got a freebie because there was nobody at work? hilarious ;)

Ramesh, you need to check into a rehab facility and get rid of your addiction to all things British! "Tunbridge Wells" sent me to Google ... I read through the Wiki entry and am convinced now that you went searching for it because of the Kapil Dev/Kirmani connection. Yes? Which means you need to check into another rehab facility and get rid of your sports addiction ;)

Anne in Salem said...

Jedediah Smith State Park is beautiful. Put that one on your list.

Yes, we need to make it happen. Far too often, we become so absorbed in work and family and immediate obligations that we forget there are things we want to do, places we want to see. If we turn off our social media and say no to staying late at the office, we can make time for the experiences that matter, whether alone or with the people who matter to us. No one ever regrets delaying mowing the grass in order to see the kite festival on the coast. They just have to choose to do so.

Sriram Khé said...

Ok, with two people recommending, those redwoods are now on my list ... the challenge is prioritizing all those places on the list ;)

After blogging in plenty about priorities in life, of course I will agree with your comment on making time for experiences that truly matter. I find it strange that most people do not seem to think that way ...

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