Today I took off from San Jose in my 1996 Tioga Arrow, headed to British Columbia to use my free pass for the 150th anniversary of their state parks. I slept for the weekend, parked in the street … something I would have never done six months ago. Change is in the air. First stop: Calistoga.
Shady streets. Natural storefronts. Mud baths. Mineral Springs. Something growing everywhere.
Memories of the desert are fading images of blowing sand and dust drifting off to the horizon. Filling in the spaces are the vineyards and rivers of Northern California. Green, instead of brown. Rushing water instead of dry gulches. A sun that nourishes, rather than being a punishment.
Vineyards flow the length of the Alexander Valley. Up and down the rolling hills. The elements of the earth and sky transforming into wine. Alchemy opening a door to the voice of the Gods.
The edges and fierceness of the desert pushes you onto your own resources. The forest blends one place into another, wrapping around you, joining you rather than shoving you away with its harshness.
What I like about life on the road is that I can do whatever I want. Desert or Forest. Freedom like that can be intimidating. I am forced back onto my own resources. Like wandering in the desert.
The desert is a worthy reminder of the responsibility that comes with being alive, but I prefer the forest. I lived by the Russian River for three years, not so long ago. Spending time by a river is a grounding experience for me.
The sound of tumbling water, the life-blood of the earth, rushing endlessly to the ocean … this is the music of life on this planet. There are many lessons to be learned from water. It is much like spirit.
Spirit is a field in motion. It is the unseen that is carried from point A to point B … the movement from sadness to laughter, from pleasure to pain, from intention to satisfaction. Taking off for the NorthWest, saying goodbye to point A. I am setting myself adrift from the conventions, customs and habits that erected my former self. I am putting myself in the hands of larger forces … invisible hands that, if I stay in touch, will take me to Cloverdale on Saturday.