Friday, April 8, 2011

A Real Hero’s Journey (a short pause for reflection)

A Real Hero’s Journey (a short pause for reflection)
As we wait for the property to close, we thought we would share this story.

Last November Edrianna and I signed up for a workshop in California called Hero’s Journey Immersion. This retreat was run by the same organization  that conducted the Vision Quest I attended in West Virginia last summer. This program was not to be as physically challenging; however, it was co-ed, so we both could attend together.
We had no idea at the time that we would be in the middle of a life changing move to a new state. We decided to attend anyway because we both felt it would be a nice break plus the fact we paid in advance.
It was a true hero’s journey getting there. Just before we left there was a rock slide that destroyed a chunk of Highway 1 (PCH) in Big Sur close to the retreat center, called Esalen. This meant the 2 and a half hour trip from San Jose turned into 5 hours because we had to take a detour south around the mountains and then back north along the ocean road. We connected with a couple, Alan and Susan who flew in from Miami for the workshop and we shared a rental car. We immediately hit it off which made the trip quite pleasant despite the drizzling rain.
After we passed thru wine country and got on the ocean road things got dicey. It was continuing to rain and the road started to wind, and wind, and wind… We went past a sign that read: “Watch out for falling rock”. I had seen a million of these before while driving through the east coast mountains and had never seen so much as a pebble. I believe in general most people ignore these words, however we soon discovered that “Watch Out for Falling Rock” is more of a mantra for those living off the pacific coast highway in Northern California.

Rock Your World
Suddenly right in front of us rocks were bouncing off the road, raining down from the hills above. They weren’t terribly big, but it was disconcerting. Alan drove effortlessly around them like he had done this before. I, on the other hand, had not and I was not driving (somewhat of a control issue).  Part of me was thinking: I hope Allan took out ample damage insurance for our car and the other half was kind of glad I had something to distract me and take my mind off of being car sick.
As we proceeded thru the obstacle course, Alan had to dodge numerous rocks, then bigger rocks and eventually small boulders. At several points the road squeezed down to a single lane where construction crews were making futile efforts to repair what only could be an endless job that on the upside provides a lifetime of job security provided that Governor Arnold Swarzinwhosit can come up with the cash to cover your paycheck.
We were all thinking: What kinda crazed demented civil engineer dreamed up this nightmare amusement park ride and how did he or she convince anyone that it was a great idea. We figured out that it probably happened in the 60’s at the height of the drug revolution. Rock On…Dudes!

We did survive this mini adventure and the retreat was very moving for us. I came away with the knowing that I have allies in my life that have helped me my entire life. I also got to touch on the synchronistic moments in my life that have lead me to where I am at this stage of my personal journey. Thank you all!

This area of Northern California is very rugged, almost jurasic
A view to the east.

Esalen has several gardens for vegetables, herbs and flowers. They are able to grow enough for the live in staff and their families as well as all the guests.

Between two of the mountains flows this massive river and it spills out into the Pacific Ocean.

I believe these are cypress trees.

Watch Out!
This is Susan and Alan.