I was looking forward to my road trip to Oregon with Kobe with the kind of longing that leaves you breathless and anxious, and is almost always unattainable.
So in a cosmic sort of way, it wasn’t too surprising when I discovered five fires were devouring southern Oregon with Apocalyptic conditions. The park attendant at Harris State Beach said smoke had reached the Oregon coast and people were crowding in to escape the fire. If I wanted to give up my campsite for someone who actually needed it, that would be just fine.
Oh the turmoil. This was my third attempt to take my little man to the Oregon’s craggy and breath-taking coastline. I was angry and sad because I couldn’t be selfish and I yet I desperately wanted to be.
I begged the Goddess to guide me toward the right decision. And so I surrendered to what I believed was the highest good for those in need and called the Oregon campground to release our reservation. This time the park attendant told me that there was no smoke and though I argued for the evacuees, she assured me they had plenty of room for all and I should definitely come visit them. In fact, she insisted.
It took awhile to drop into my familiar and comfortable meditation of following the road’s yellow line. Frustrating and confusing life and work scenarios clouded my mind. I pushed them away as we drove through San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf and Haight/Ashbury district (I couldn’t miss an opportunity to visit hippie heaven.)
And the buggered thoughts returned, particularly when I saw exposed rocks that had once been covered in several feet of Eel River, making a mostly lush habitat look barren and desolate. But eventually, if you are persistent, you reach the point when you realize happiness, spontaneity and freedom – the very things the road offers – are in fact, a choice. And then this is what I saw:
- Tents draped in paisley and Rastafarian tapestries and dreadlocked festival-goers at Reggae on the River
- Bats catching twilight snacks of mosquitoes
- Gang of elk resting in the shade of a tree
- Beautiful, lonely beach of fine black and taupe sand and driftwood
- Coastal fog drifting over a rocky coastline
- My teen become a child once more as he made driftwood into art or rambled over and under hollowed and moss covered Redwood trees or “walked on water” over the gurgling creek or found faery homes bedecked in meadow flowers along a cascading waterfall banks
And what I heard:
- Kobe telling me that the best part of his day was being on the road with me
- Kobe telling me that the worst part of any day was when we argued or I got mad at him
- Truth of a child
- Silence of a forest
- The crashing and receding of the Pacific Northwest shoreline
- The crackle of Kobe’s expert campside fires as we munched on wild berries surrounding our Oregon coastal campsite
And what I felt was the soothing peace of mind when you are connected to nature and those you love best.