Observation of self: I've noticed that I've hesitated to come post anything here. See the gap? Well, I haven't been home all the time, that's true, but I've been about some of the time, and still haven't posted. And the why is connected to returning to "normal"; a sense that, after my mother's death, nothing else is important enough to blog about. Well, it's not about what's important always. Just what is. But part of me was feeling odd about that. So I've decided I just need to post something to break past that.
Some of you wanted to know how my trip to the US was.
While my visit to the US this year was cut short, I still had almost 2 weeks of a wonderful holiday there. I got to attend and assist at the SoulCollage®
training at Land of Medicine Buddha in Soquel, California, during my first four days.
When I left there, I thought I'd be travelling down Highway 1 by the coast to Los Angeles,
but I hadn't reckoned with the forest fires, and found myself having to turn back just as I reached Big Sur and travelling an alternative route. The delay meant I found myself stopping for an overnight stay in Summerland, near Santa Barbara.
I treated myself to a room at a beautiufl inn, with every luxury. As they say in certain adverts... I'm worth it!
My five days in Los Angeles were wonderful - visiting with a dear friend, relaxing, chatting, visiting LACMA,
(The Chicano art exhibit! The Japanese art!); eating good food, making SoulCollage together, chatting... On 4th July, we went into the old part of the city for a wonderful
Mexican lunch; visited the Cathedral,
Union station and the Disney music centre. And that night, unplanned, we found fireworks, right in the neighbourhood. I love fireworks. I don't get to see them often, but I just love them. There was the sheer excitement of being in that place - the initial thrill of entering the city, driving down Laurel Canyon, crossing Sunset Boulevard! I was so proud of myself for navigating my way to within yards of my friends front-door, though that delight in my arrival became somewhat overshadowed by my panic and upset when I simply couldn't find my way on that last short leg of the journey (later discovered the reason was a wrongly-transcribed address!). All was well that ended well, and I just loved my time in LA.
When I set off to drive back to the Bay Area, I knew I'd need to make an overnight stop, but wasn't sure quite where that would be. It turned out to be at a motel in Salinas. There were fire-fighters staying there, coming in, going out, ... a row of firetenders parked in the parking lot. Smoke on the hills. One young man asked me to keep them all in my prayers. I did.
On Sunday, I drove on, skirting San Francisco, (with the intention to return to the city a few days later to join my son for some sightseeing), to arrive at the home of my adopted American family.
They take me to their hearts. We hang out. We visit fabric shops and Lacis in Berkeley
- a museum of lacemaking.
We shop for groceries. I'm planning to be with them for a few days more before the rendezvous with my son, and then heading off for more northern parts of California, and on into Oregon and Washington state.
And then, word came that my mother had passed away peacefully, and I needed to get home. My wonderful friends held me, prayed with me, made sure, once I'd made travel arrangements, that I got safely to the airport and through check-in.
My American sojourn this year ended in a way I couldn't have expected, but I'm so glad I got to be there, and that I have those memories. I'm so happy to have met the wonderful people I encountered again on this trip. I'm so looking forward to returning again... next year, maybe... Maybe next year.
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