Mama Bear and The Vagabond

At one point, my vagabond, free-spirited nature frightened my boys. Today it inspires them.

driving starThey know they are deeply loved by virtue of my bear hugs and fierce protection, my constant refrain of “who loves ya baby?” and (I’m going to count it) – waking up at 6am to make them breakfast before zero period.

I won’t deny that the tempest gusts and gentle breezes seduced me more than once. I am a bohemian. I cannot stand walls. I fear normalcy. I repel stoicism and conformity. And yet I am a fancy-footed mother, the rock of my family, who also happens to deeply love the wind and trees. Like the Selkie without her sealskin, I am lost without my wild side….Driving

Tired of driving Highway 395, I decided to take an alternate northern route to see Joey. Blessedly after L.A. the road opens, and I turn off the radio, roll the windows down, open up the moon roof and begin the battle with flying hair.

Though I truly admire the deep blue expanse of the Pacific Ocean with the crisp white water outlining incoming swells just north of Santa Barbara, it’s almost too familiar. My fancy doesn’t really get tickled until I enter the magical tunnel and tTunelurn inland for the Central Valley.

Thusly inspired and eager, I Googled the nearest winery Standing Sunand found one in Buelton with a name I liked: Standing Sun. The red blend was devilishly smooth, so I bought two bottles to share. I ate an avocado on seaweed rice cake and a grapefruit for lunch and headed to San Luis Obispo. There is something so whimsical about the Madonna Inn. I must stay there one day. I took a picture of the SLO campus (that smelled like cow dung) and sent it to Skyler who is thinking of going to school here.

Heading up the coast I decided to try a local brewery and found an awesome brown ale and the owner who was a veritable connoisseur of Pearl Jam music at Cambria Beer Company, in the middle of an Alpine Village. Pearl Jam posterInto fog I drove, passed Hearst Castle, stopping to visit the snoring sea lions.Sea Lions

I set up my tent in the dark, nipping off my growler, at the foot of the soaring redwood trees of Big Sur.

big sur tentNext day I hiked to the waterfall before following my big map of California (I ADORE maps) to Mammoth. I can’t say that this landscape excites me much, or maybe it was the pull to see my darling man that sparked my impatience as I drove through hick towns munching on peanut M&Ms.

I dropped into Yosemite Valley at sunset, just in time to capture the last light on a mountain lake. Another hour and I was in the arms of the man I love.

yosemiteWhen I came home, I shared my adventures and pictures with my boys. They smiled at my tales and admired the photos. Skye spoke of the trip he was planning with his friends. Kobe talked fervently about our next road trip together, when he could be the one behind the wheel.

I smiled with tears in my eyes. My precious young men, forever my babies, have learned to trust in me to always return, to accept that I must have the wind in my hair and discover for themselves the beauty and strength that comes from being alone, in the woods, along the coast, on the road.forest

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