Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Travels on the Coast (2)

I am tired, I confess.  I am also, apparently, a homing pidgion.  

Driving north from San Diego, I was depressed by the terrible dryness of inland California, the drought evident everywhere. In fact, the right word would be sorrow, and a low, humming, underlying terror.  This is global warming, surely, this devestation of my homeland, this terrible drought.  So much is changing now.  

I didn’t want to complicate my state of mind by traffic in the Bay Area, so I attempted to bypass the whole mess in San Jose, only to become confused, and find myself headed straight for Berkeley during rush hour.  Naturally, I had to get off and get a coffee at CafĂ© Med on Telegraph.

Telegraph looked seedy and depressed, the Med was much as I remembered it, but dirtier, and yet, not the same at all because 40 years is a really long time.  All my friends are memories sitting at those marbletop tables, and memories, in the end, are poor companions.  Does anyone remember People’s Park, or Moe of Moe’s Books, or  the street artists of Telegraph?  I saw my first husband, Paul, sitting vividly in my imagination at the table at the top of the stairs with his camera bag, and his dogeared  notebook………but who knows where, or who, he is now.  This becomes a metaphysical exercise if I think about it too long...........
I left to begin the ordeal of nearly 2 hours trying to get out of the Bay Area.  

At last I found myself in Vallejo, and headed toward Napa, the Wine Country reviving my spirit, and found myself, homing pidgin again, on the road to Middletown and Harbin Hot Springs.  Lots of memories there as well, the Ancient Ways Gathering in the valley campground, and dreams, even a very  prophetic dream*  I had in 1999.  For all it’s being crowded,   it’s still a healing place, a place that would be favored by Sulis, Goddess of the waters and of the fires..

Walking heavily in my bathing suit, a little lame from a decade ago injury, short of breath, I try to remember the lithe woman I was 20  years ago.  I  suppose the many nudists here look at me in my bathing suit  (with a skirt yet) like a dinosaur emerging from the 1950’s.  Fine with me, in my old age, I like both bathing suits and nightgowns.   

The waters worked their magic, and I had the little heart shaped  pool to myself all morning (fear of old ladies in bathing suits with skirts?)  Hey, wish it would work  in parking lots as well.   I hope I am becoming, as Clarissa Pinkola Estes termed it, “a dangerous old woman”. Yes!  

I floated on my back, allowing the water to take me where it will.  And with a view of the sky, tree tops, birds and bees above me, just as the previous night I saw a vast ceiling of stars glittering between dark branches, so I floated away a stress and sadness.  As I let go of “direction”, the currents floated me around the pool, , occasionally bumping into the sides, different views, sometimes returning to the same sky view but with a different slant of sunlight, a different bird, a new cloud making itself.  Until finally I came to  stillness in the center of the pool.  

And somehow, I felt that my question, “what do I do now?”  had been answered.  If indeed I had a question.  Or perhaps the question and the answer both occurred in the process of floating.  Let go, the Circle is always there, the truth is viewed from all sides, and ultimately, we all return to the Center.  Trust.

I am a great devotee of hot springs, of the generous Numina who keep the hot waters for all of us.  I don’t dream much anymore, but  I did  dream last night.  Hotsprings, I have noticed, are great places for dreaming,.  I was buying a green dress, and it had a beautiful, layered, billowing skirt down to the ankles.  I felt that I “couldn’t pass it up” as it was “only $45.00”.  But I wasn’t sure I could fit into it, it would need some adjustment, and I hadn’t had a chance to try it on before I woke up.  A good color, the color of healing, of  the Fey, of  the green growing Earth, a good dress to try on now. 

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