It was grey to the east, and hot, when I got in the car in San Clemente. Thirty minutes in the used bookstore and I was no closer to settling my discontent then when I had left Laguna. Plumbing from under my kitchen sink was all over my apartment floor, two workmen in and out of my shoebox studio all afternoon, it was the third straight day of over ninety degree heat on the coast. I had to get out of there. Finally, I texted Jon, Alright, I’m coming. Be down by dark.
I stopped in San Clemente because I took the coast. It was Friday in the afternoon on a holiday weekend so I had no desire to mess with the 5. I gave myself all the time I could possibly need, anticipating a stop at a coffee shop to write and assuming San Clemente had something other than Starbucks since they actually have a legitimate used book store. I was wrong. My attitude was crap.
What happened to me? This is all I was thinking coming out of Oceanside, San Diego county. What happened to the girl so happy to live free in the moment? So open, unbound? In 2011 I piled my trunk with my camp gear, put a laundry basket in my back seat full of my favorite shoes, a crate with my favorite books, and two more bags in the trunk filled with the clothing I hadn’t given away. And I got in the car in Maryland, and drove to California. No plan, no map. At least not the destiny kind. I lived out of my car. I lived on the road. It was the third time I’d done that in my life. In fact, I wrecked my car on the 101 two months into my journey. So I lived on a farm a while, til I could buy a car again. It seems so long ago. That was how I met Jon.
He still lives on the road, has since he left his place in Oakland that fall we first met. I stayed on his floor back then, while he packed and stored and sold his stuff. He came and lived on my floor this past July. Three weeks in my single room studio, I let him move his alter in and all his clothes.
So I drove to San Elijo State Beach where he’s been living. It was night by the time I got there.
Leo was there, a friend also from the days I stayed and travelled up north. They were sharing a site with a family Jon called ‘the Bob’s’, a single dad and his four kids who all surf and homeschool and live on the road. Every day we had to change sites. It was a holiday and they wouldn’t let us reserve in advance. But the camp hosts were nice to Jon and the Bob’s, since they’d been living there before the Labor Day frenzy got to town, and tried to take care of them. Saturday we actually didn’t get one though, so we just slept on the beach in our sleeping bags.
I would’ve been happy to keep at that–god just the way it felt to wake up to the surf–the sea salt heavy and thick in my hair. But Sunday was so soupy you couldn’t even see the water, so I’m glad for my tent, and the way up high cliff.
Beetle showed up again and again, this after rattle snake and I am convinced: rebirth. I surfed a lot, I read. I unplugged from the internet, from my cell. I sat still and listened to the waves. Watched the sun go down, the stars come out. Sensed the moon on her dark wane. I stared at the fire. Slowed, felt the earth, how she heals.
And I found her, in bits, that girl who left Maryland two years ago. It’s so easy to lose sight of the path. To forget about the adventure. To fall blind to the open magic of the road.
Ahhh, Thank the Mystery for traveling blessings, for the reawakened soul~