Oil Field Park

11 Apr

Guess what? For the past seven months, I thought the only green space near my office was the cemetery down the street, but today, I discovered a huge park just a mile and a half away!  I grabbed a book and a grilled cheese sandwich, and excitedly snuck off to this green sanctuary.  When I arrived, I sat at a picnic table and ate my sandwich.

It was lovely, really.  Birds were chirping, a family enjoyed a picnic next to a babbling brook, and I read a page of Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence before taking a stroll through the park.


I took about three steps before noticing something moving through the trees.  As I got closer, I saw that literally twenty feet from my table, just through a few trees, was a sprawling oil field that looked like another planet.

Seriously?  Oil fields in the middle of a city?  I started to take a closer look and noticed there were cancer wires all over the hills..

Yuck.  And who the heck is Janice? Suddenly my secret eden revealed itself to be just like everything else in this town.. a fake, ultra-beautiful exterior covering up a pillaged, polluted core.

As I walked back toward my car, I stopped on an idyllic foot bridge to ponder all I’d just taken in.  An older gentleman was on the bridge with me and we started talking.  He told me about how he grew up nearby, and how the whole park was strewn with oil rigs when he was a kid.  He said that in a few years, the wells across the way should be dried up, and they’ll likely extend the park further.

To be polite, I complimented his city, and as I did, while hearing him talk with such awe about the his ever-changing, but continually striking town, I began to believe my words.  I thought of how I’d hiked eight miles this weekend, smack in the middle of the city, and then went to see a play and ate at a fine restaurant.  What was my problem?  Wasn’t this enough? Donald talked about the old hotels downtown, and the beaches, and the fish ponds a few feet away.

After talking to him, I felt a bit better, and as I walked away, he shouted after me, “California’s Gold! California is GOLD!” Thanks, Donald.


One Response to “Oil Field Park”

  1. KT April 19, 2011 at 12:13 pm #

    Donald helped you discover gold. What a find! Great photo!

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