Now acutely aware of the connection and noise. Missing the roosters.
But I’m not as angry with myself this morning. I can grant myself some grace. I can make different choices.
I skip the grocery store and drive down to the market stand instead. I fill brown paper bags with tomatoes, squash, and green beans. I think of the green bean salad with anchovy vinaigrette and sweet cherry tomatoes that we had at the hotel.
I can either lean into or away from my own kind of magic.
Bird song. Loud. Thuds of nectarines dropping from the tree. The sound of the sliding door opening and closing for questions that don’t really need answers.
The smell of roasted garlic.
Not a dresser but a bookcase.
We are wild vines.
Finally feeling more like myself.
Wow. The roosters are really loud today.
I try my best to tip-toe through the room for clothes, find what I need to wash my face and put in contacts and get ready for the day.
I look at my watch. Oh good, Moosewood is just opening. I have her come with me to get coffee and some pastries for the others.
Had I understood what everyone meant by going to the river, I would have packed appropriately. We find the rockier parts of the beach and they try to skip rocks while I watch the water run. Yes, I need to be closer to water.
I try to fight away the pang of pre-departure sadness.
Filtered or unfiltered 2015 PInot Noir? We’ll take both.
Suitcase rosé of Syrah while we sit in these chairs for the last pre-dinner drink. I say something about wondering if I’m naive in thinking that I really can have a life that I don’t need to vacate. That I want travelling to be about experience and exploration, not escape.
I could eat this plum tart for the rest of my life.
I sit at her table and we talk about the ills of digital connectivity, privacy in the digital age, life-altering experiences, the definition of sanity. She starts every other story by telling me that’s she’s a private person, but “I’ll tell you this.” Her eyes sparkle in the candlelight. He asks me how old I think she is, I say she’s at least 80 but maybe older.
Another pang of pre-departure sadness.
The roosters are so loud.
What is that clanking sound? It feels like it must be time to get up.
It’s only 50 degrees. I did not plan properly. I grab a sweater and my shawl and my camera and head out to the gardens.
We find the coffeehouse that opens at 7. The case is filled with homemade pastries and empanadas. I must come back for an empanada.
The baby goats. But I could do without the flies.
The best goat cheese I’ve ever tasted. I will be back for more.
I’m looking at her and she thinks I’m confused but I’m actually just searching for the words. Finally, “Estamos comemos.” He says her face lit up when the Spanish came from my mouth. I ask her to come back tomorrow. “Hasta Luego!” “Hasta Luego!”
The power of language as a bridge. Words build connection. The right words lay a foundation for intimacy and belonging and compassion. This is why I try to be so careful with what comes out.
Roederer. Phillips Hill. Drew Family Cellars.
She asks me if this is the kind of place I want to move to when the rental is done. I tell her that this is the kind of place I’d come to after her and her brothers have made a life of their own. But that yes, I love to be in places where I know names and faces and everything feels familiar and walkable. I like feeling like I belong.
Today is the day.
The third tickling session in order to coax him awake.
They start asking about the length of time we’ll be in the car. I don’t want to tell them the truth. I give them vague answers like “It will take some time. It won’t feel too long. We’re breaking it up.”
The temperature drops 6 degrees as we enter Bodega Bay. No one is hungry like we thought they would be so we get back in the car for another long leg.
He pulls over at a turn about. Her iced chai turns over. Only three of us get out to look at the ocean. The fog is beginning to recede. Waves with white caps. The sounds of cars passing by.
Gualala. I’ve never heard of this town but Upper Crust Pizza gets 4.7 stars so we stop there for lunch. The owner tells us to just settle the tab when we’re all done. Small town things. The couple at the high top beside us is from Wisconsin. I could live here.
They warned us that it might still be foggy in Point Arena. I still want to go to the lighthouse. I’ve never been to one. I say that if I had an official bucket list, I think going inside of a lighthouse would be on the list. Today, I’m checking it off.
My thighs are burning.
Mountain View Road is not as scary as they made it seem though 22 miles of those twists and turns do a doozy on the stomach before it dumps you out into Booneville.
Not even here for an hour and I’m already planning a new retreat.
One more day. Just need to make it through one more day.
I make a list. I still don’t know what I’m doing but I’m hoping it will all work out.
This feels more like me.
He says that the day is going okay but that he thinks the heat is making people cranky. Oh, boy. I know. I know. I’ve had those days too.
100 degrees feels like 100 degrees.
Done and done and now a breath. And packing.
I tell her that I’m not doing much of anything except new things that I didn’t think I’d ever do and have now discovered don’t really suit me. And that kind of clarity is good, a relief.
No tv. I can’t wait.
“In a group, if everybody thinks about the other person’s needs, everyone’s needs are actually fulfilled in the end.” - The Art of Gathering