Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Big Sur

I braced myself against the twists and turns of Highway 1. Leaning over the dashboard, I hoped to soak in the expanse of blue sky as it brushed the ocean waves. My reward was an advancing fog.
S***, I thought. I bragged for weeks about the incredulous scenery. I even emailed links with pictures of Big Sur to lure friends into celebrating my retirement. So what’s with this FOG! I vacillated between my ever present realism and conflicting optimism. Maybe it will burn off soon. But what if it doesn’t? I hope no one will be disappointed. Oh it doesn’t really matter. But, NO, it will spoil the view from Nepenthe. Then I heard Carolyn’s voice in the background happily chatting about the beauty of the redwoods and wild flowers. At the same time Robin was admiring the vastness of the rocky cliffs. I let out a sigh of relief. Accompanied by the soothing lyrics, of Carol King’s song “Way Over Yonder”, we coasted into the Big Sur Inn. At last, we arrived!

way over yonder
is a place that i know
where i can find shelter
from a hunger and cold
and the sweet tastin' good life
is so easily found a way over yonder, that's where i'm bound
We drove down a short bumpy road to our cottage nestled among the tall Redwoods and road dusted ferns. I looked up at the balcony and smiled as Tara and Cindy greeted us. Surprised, I wondered how they got there so fast. They must have left at some god awful hour. I was sure we would arrive before they did. It seemed strange to see them outside the utilitarian walls of Alvarado.

i know when i get there
the first thing i'll see
is the sun shining golden
shining right down on me
then trouble's gonna lose me
worry leave me behind…

After unloading, I walked up the narrow wooden stairs to join them. The disappointment of the fog was still ever present. When I got to the top of the stairs, I found them engaged in conversation while sipping on wine. Tara looked up with that familiar warm smile and commented in her southern drawl, “I love this place.” Downstairs Carolyn searched for a bottle opener to uncork some wine. Robin began to nestle in and organize the small cottage, while Maureen collapsed into an overstuffed chair and began to unwind. Soon we could hear Leslie’s jeep approaching. After spending a good part of the day pedaling along the northern coast she was bubbling with energy.
We began exploring the nooks and crannies of each room and claimed our beds. Like the buzz of a pesky mosquito, I still couldn’t swat my obsession with the fog out of my mind. Then I looked out of the window and saw the final five guests; Melina, Sovy, Lily, and Celeste. Their dear spirits and
laughter were approaching the cottage threshold to join us. And who was the fifth guest? Why that would be the soon to be born Samantha who was receiving an early indoctrination into celebrating life’s changes in style.

and i'll stand up proudly
in true peace of mind
talkin' about
talkin' about
a way over yonder
is a place i have seen
in a garden of wisdom
from some long ago dream
oh yeah

After greeting everyone, I walked along a footpath to a nearby water fall.
I stood quietly observing. The only audible sound was the water trickling into the ravine. Staring at the flowing water, my preoccupation with the fog gradually disappeared. I realized that much of my life has been wasted holding on to the past rather than focusing on the present. The cool air surrounded me along with the warmth of knowing so many dear friends took time to join me.Then I turned and followed the light emanating from the cabin windows vowing to welcome this opportunity to celebrate and let the weekend unfold in its own unique way. I wasn’t disappointed!

maybe tomorrow
i'll  find my way
to the land where the honey runs
in rivers each day
and the sweet tastin' good life
is so easily found
a way over yonder
that's where i'm bound
oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
a way over yonder
that's where i'm bound.

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