Memorial Park

img_7353So. There was a great disturbance in the Force this past week. As if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, downed as much alcohol as they could grab, and slipped into a state of shocked disbelief for a couple of days. In the meantime, we had to scoop ourselves up off the floor and go to work and do our jobs. Plus, a friend of mine passed away last Saturday. By the time Friday rolled around, I could feel the emotional trauma in my body like a physical wound. I couldn’t breathe right, everything was tense.

Still, or rather, of course, out we went.

Saturday morning I still didn’t feel right, but that could also have been due to an inadequate tapering off from the alcohol filled week. Richard went for a planned bike ride around the area of Pescadero and, feeling generally uneasy, I decided to just sag him in the car and listen to music and know where he was. We met up at Pigeon Point and I spent a long time just staring out at the fog.

img_7355And that’s when I thought: That’s what this feels like. It feels like I’m in the middle of a deep, suffocating fog where nothing familiar is recognizable. I’ve been at this spot and have looked out at the vastness and majesty of the crazy, dangerous, ocean and have been able to spot the beauty of the light reflected off the crashing waves. It must be there, I just can’t see it now. And then I looked at the lighthouse and thought, yes, that’s why there are lighthouses. Because blinding fog is natural from time to time. Lighthouses are there to guide us when we can’t see. They keep us from dashing ourselves to pieces on the jagged, rocky shore. Their light sends a warning, but also a focal point amidst the chaos.

img_7357And then I looked around and noticed that there were two guys holding hands and no one was harassing them. A blue grass band played in front of the visitor center and state park volunteers stood by the lookout points, offering their time and knowledge to any who wished to learn about the local wildlife. And there were people of all different colors walking around together, just enjoying the scene, sharing space and exchanging smiles with a large group of motorcycling veterans. And the fog began to lift. I stood at the edge and let the wind blast my face and I felt something give in my chest. I breathed fully and deeply for the first time in days.

I thought about my smart, kindhearted, passionate friends and colleagues. I thought about the artists and comedians who will strive to put words to the contradiction in ways that will help me process and understand. Lighthouses all of them.

img_7360The rest of the weekend was filled with pastries and sandwiches from the Pescadero Country Store, half and half Cream of Artichoke and Cream of Green Chile soup from Duarte’s, perfectly cooked Egg McMuffins, walks in the redwoods, and somewhat less wine. And a report. Because life goes on.

Winter is coming and the night is full of terrors, or so I’ve heard. Dory is going to be fully engaged in picking us up off the floor from time to time, and “Just keep swimming” sounds like it will be an even more appropriate motto for a while. With eyes on our lighthouses and donations made to Sierra Club and the National Parks Conservation Association, we will keep on swimming. Perhaps literally. What better time for a kayak?

img_7347As for the campground itself, I managed to pick the worst site possible for trailers (site 6), but with the BAL Leveler at its maximum height, and with only a couple of inches between the hitch and the ground, we squeezed in. There is no dump there, at least not one that was open, but we were able to use the dump at Half Moon Bay where we stopped for lunch on our way back home. There was no solar anywhere in this park and no cell service. We are now just turning the fridge off at night when it’s reasonably cold and that extends the battery plenty for a weekend.

Total miles: 89.9, 15.8 mpg (but a long time was spent waiting at the dump station), 3 hours, 6 min. Sites 16, 18, and 33 seemed nice and much more level.

8 thoughts on “Memorial Park

  1. Alissa, your written word is beautiful! I loved reading this and read it to my husband. Thank you for the beautiful words.

    I told my niece and her husband that I am focusing on “love and loving people” and yes I too have looked for the comedian relief so I could breathe better! I have many symptoms and feelings that are those familiar to me when I have lost a loved one.

    I look forward to April when we have our Alto and we too can slip away for awhile!


  2. Beautiful prose and beautiful photos. It was a sucky week – but some things we cannot control. We must accept that. Fortunately you have Dory – and that retro toaster.

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