On a chilly overcast morning of April 30, fourteen members of the Zawiya Perspective community met at the Sam Merrill trailhead in Altadena to hike up to the historic ruins on Echo Mountain. The walk was a much-appreciated opportunity to visit our local wilderness.
Abdullah supplied cups of strong Turkish coffee before we started ensuring we were ready to all but fly to the top of trail. A light rain the night before refreshed the blooming flowers and left tiny beads of water dancing on waxy leaves that patiently waited for the sun. And what flowers! The rains this winter and spring awakened seeds laying dormant through the last several years of drought. Vibrant reds, pinks, purples, yellows, and greens delighted our eyes and perfumed the air.
After an easy climb through the clouds we arrived at the ruins. The hotel and rail line built in the 1800’s once offered an escape from the growing city. After exploring the site, hilariously playing with the echo-phone, and sharing some light snacks, brother Jesse led us in a reflection upon Allah in nature and a dhikr. While we would have explored longer at the top of the hill, the unexpectedly chilly weather, heavy mist, and promise of hot food sent us hurrying back down to our cars.
We finished the hike much the way we started: with big smiles and full hearts. Thank you to everyone who joined together. We are excited for our upcoming May 21 full moon hike and meditation at Mandeville Canyon!