Saturday, November 24, 2012


It's only 6 o clock, but it's already dark out.  I peek out the window and I see nothing.  Just darkness.  The Dutch, apparently along with the rest of the world at this moment, was taking a nap.  I turn the knob and tiptoed outside.  I had no expectations of what I would see.  I had no fear nor anxiety yet a part of me was curious and wanted to explore a wee bit on my own.  I looked around and I was nearly floored.

The small, quiet moon illuminated the trees and the path.  It cast a glow on everything around just as it probably does every night without me noticing.  Even if I needed a flashlight, I don't remember which bag it is stowed in, so I'm glad I could manage without one.  The scent of distant campfires, unfamiliar to my olfactory senses, is thick in the air.  I watched for movement, they say pumas and mountain lions live here too, but I saw none.

So I pressed on.

It's amazing how we have forgotten to notice how magnificent the night sky is, how the universe is as abundant as the countless stars in the evening sky.

We are in a remote pocket California north of Half Moon Bay called Costanoa, a place I have bookmarked three years ago.  I am writing this in a small tent cabin, illuminated right now by a small 5 watt bulb while my rear is being warmed by a heated mattress.  Other than a bed, a couple of chairs and nightstands, there's really not much.  We are not completely off the grid and although there is running hot water and the toilets flush in the common bathroom, one has to walk about fifty feet,up a brief incline, to use the facilities.  The trade off is that you unplug long enough to contemplate on the what is primeval and essential in life - living itself.

On this day of gratitude in America, there is no other place I'd rather be.  We spent all afternoon hiking on bluffs overlooking the gorgeus Pacific Ocean.  In half an hour, we will be going to dinner at the lodge.  It is, after all, Thanksgiving, and one that is celebrated in the company of equally grateful souls.  The plan is to punctuate the evening with a bonfire and s'mores.  Tomorrow morning, I will be celebrating gratitude on the mat.  I have seen a lot of this world this year, more than I have ever imagined or longed for, and for that and for all the many blessings that have enriched my life this year - for family and friends, for laughter and sobering moments, for the sunshine and seasons, for ocean breeze and the sound of crashing waves, for tribulations and frustrations, for health, for equanimity and peace where it can be found, for every single thing that came to me the last year - I am humbled and grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone from the Coast.


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