I’ve woken today I a town in Northern California called Bolinas. The rain is drumming hypnotically on the rooftop of the beautiful house. The atmosphere is still and the day outside is a dark silver grey. There is a little white dog over on the bed staring at me wondering who I am. The place is incredible. All Cedar wood beams, big windows carpets and a mixture of native American and Japanese art a great open kitchen. There is even an Oscar over in the corner of the room, apparently the lady who owns the house (Vivinne Verdon-Roe) won it for best film/Documentary in 1986 “Women for America, For the World”
I’m here visiting Jeans sister Marie who is house sitting whilst the lady is away on a retreat, Made me laugh, she has gone away on retreat, you would find it pretty hard to get further away that where I am sat right now.
I have come north because I wanted to walk amongst the Redwood forests but in this kind of weather it wouldn’t really be the joyful experience I was dreaming of. It has rained nonstop since I took the right turn onto the 94 towards San Francisco yesterday at Half Moon Bay
I’d woken before the clock with the sound of laughter it sounded like Christian and Jean. It was the first indication that the family were coming close. I have wondered where they are, as I have had no seeing or dreams of them so far and I am expecting them. I supposed it was because we had been sipping red wine and IPA in the evenings whilst I had been here. It would be different out there on the road. They would come, I was sure.
I was ready to go today. Jean was already up. There is a lot going on with Jean, she is coming to terms with a lot of things, who and where and how she is and with, illness, being a mother and what the future holds for her. How things are in her world.
I’d arrived like the sunshine laced with nostalgia and fresh air I think, it has been so good to see her again she has looked a little tired and sad, I’d wanted to do a lot more healing than we actually managed to do, but there has always seemed to be something in the way. But perhaps just being there sometimes is enough I said I would come and I did. I kept my word. I had missed her. We all have to make sense of our choices and the repercussions and go through what ever is happens because of them. That is all there is.
It was a wrench to actually say goodbye, we were both stirred up, my engine had been running on high now for a few days and today the leash broke and in the jolt forwards I dinked hummingbirds left rear wing on a gas station on a bollard, I heard later Jean in her daze took a chemo pill instead of an Advil and had to go to the hospital. Jeezz !!
After a stop at a coffee house in a converted church I hit every red light in town, stop start stop start stop start making me ever so slightly crazy but then just ahead, the edge of town Highway 1 I revved in anticipation. Then, Ba Boom off she went.
The weather was bright and clear, highway 1 runs right along the coast virtually all the way to San Francisco. Hummingbird coughed out accumulated dust and cleared her lungs but handling so well. Willy had said the suspension wasn’t great or the breaks, He was wrong, big time, she flew over the rises and took any surprises in her stride. Fantastic. I was singing to her
“Stick with me Hummingbird, stick with me,
“Stay with me Hummingbird, stay with me ”
The Pacific Ocean rolled in, crashing into the land joyfully, waves leapt high up into the air, the winds spun the spray up and out in all directions, Such a beautiful dreamy sight. As I sped along something was whispering in the back of my mid about oil inside Hummingbirds engine. So I noted it and stopped at Half moon bay gas station and bought some only to find the oil cap jammed on tight. So I had to pour oil down the dip stick funnel, not ideal and a little messy, but it did the trick.
Then onto Highway 94 and we hit traffic, she has a few shivers and I can feel her old joints twinge and make her jump now and again, but she might very well just make it
“Stick with me Hummingbird, stick with me,
“Stay with me Hummingbird, stay with me ”
I made it through San Francisco without a wrong turn I-280 the I-101 onto the I-80 across the Oakland bay bridge onto the I-580, junction 21a and I was at Christina’s I was quite pleased with myself.
I was coasting slowly along a leafy suburban street looking up left and right , the phone went I parked up, it was Christina “
“Did you just drive past my house?”
“I may have done” I laughed
“I’m coming out” She said and then there she was just ahead beaming like a cat and waving. Car door opened ‘Clunk’, she was in, door closed ‘Clunk’
“We need to get some things from the store” She said “ I’ll show you the way, how are you Mick ? “ I love Christina.
A few years ago we’d had an Email fall out, have you ever had one of those. You can’t hear the persons voice so all your imagination projects onto the screen, there are no eyes looking back at you to indicate hurt and pain and no tone in a voice to indicate maybe you want to hold back here. Christian can be provocative and you’ll have to ask her how I can be.
But right there and then, again, life is short and we love who we love no matter what.
She has a lovely apartment in a leafy street, very San Francisco, incense and carpets, paintings bones feathers, figurines and photographs, Christians has a colourful eye.
Her Partner Jen was away in Michigan so it was just us. She served up wonderful healthy salad bursting with taste and texture carrots and apples salad, peanut putter sauce, we sat and talked, both of us with our lightest and most beautiful shoes on. I only had a few hours and regretted later that I had not made more time to stay
We did a Session it was beautiful too. It made me deeply happy was able to come back and help even in the smallest way. She seemed to get something from it and it appears that her train is not to far away now. That old obsidian blade has been cast away, a voice heard and healing really begun.
I’d decided that I wanted to drive right through San Francisco and across golden gate bridge I was in no hurry and I felt it would have been a tragedy had I not. I hit traffic all the way, I was told by everyone, it must have taken two hours to drive through the city. The rain never stopped, I was beginning to settle in now. I felt calm and was happy with my thoughts. San Francisco if petty easy to get through I had the AAA map and was happy to take a few wrong turnings and make my own way back onto the 101. I have always loved being in this city even for a few hours in my own time on my own steam. I was at peace. Everyone cut me up and I really didn’t mind.
The rain was so heavy and continuous and the traffic so constant that I didn’t stop at the bridge for a look, but just drove across, I didn’t dare look back only a quick glance a dink right there would not have been good and it was a close crossing.
Once across I got back onto Highway 1 and turned off towards Stinson beach weaving over the mountain. It is such a great drive and hummingbird is beginning to feel like a great ride. There was virtually just me on the road weaving and free falling left and right swooping and climbing along the mountain road. The rain was a sheet coming straight down. At one point we came around a corner to find red flares in the road, there had been a rock side, great boulders littered the road which we crept past. I felt really sorry for the guys stood out there in this
Then down along Stinson beach the roads a inches think with water pouring off the hills to the left. Great arc wings of spay shot out on either side of hummingbird, perfect. The drought is over in northern California for sure.
Christina’s directions were so good. She was right there were no signs to Bolinas. I found the turning off to this clandestine town. Apparently the locals like it kept a secret and so have removed all the road signs to the town out on the peninsular. So if you didn’t know it was there you’d drive right past. Apparently a few Bolinas homes have Bolinas road signs hung in the front rooms as trophies, better than a bears head any day I reckoned.
There are also no road signs or street lights here either. So although I had said to Marie I would find her.
I’d said “Don’t worry I’ll find you if I get lost I’ll ask somebody.
She said “Mick, there is nobody here to ask”
I’d laughed but once here I realized it would be a real problem to find here n the dark. Thank goodness I had a signal on the phone. She’d called just as I got into town and guided me in through what seemed to be endless dirt alleyways pot holes and dead ends. Without that call I would never have found her that night.
“Oh ok, now your on Pine, ok turn left onto elm, now onto cedar a little further and you’ll come onto Oak” it was really funny as there were no road signs at all that I could see right then.
But then there I was. Out in the middle of somewhere that was apparently nowhere, but I suspected was going to be stunning once daylight came.
Marie is great company and after we’d walked the little terrified looking dog in the torrential rain and pulled a plastic sheet over her car as it was leaking we sat down to eat the lovely food she’d made
My hands switched on almost as soon as I’d arrived. It’s how I always describe it. It’s a very physical feeling, I take note of it, It is always right
The house and the rain and storm outside, Maries trusting big eyes, I, a man, an old friend who had travelled far to do this, the house and all its mystical trappings facilitated a wonderful session
That night I slept deeply. Trust rewarded is a beautiful thing