I am having my red thread cafe at The Benbow Inn, where I have stayed off and on throughout my life. It is familiar and reminds me of my beloved Grandmother Helen and our trips to the country. I am enjoying eggs benedict, my all time favorite, listening to classical music, drinking coffee with too much cream and reading Charles Dickens. And writing you.
I journey to see my family. To make connections. To gaze upon the beauty of my little cousin, John Henry Greenleaf and feel the joy at his easy embrace. He hugged me three times – I think he is 11 but I have no idea, but in any event I am honored beyond words. I travel to drink a glass of wine at my sister Laurel’s counter and look, at the view she looks at every day. I find myself just wanting to gaze upon these beloveds. To drink them. To take in the curl of their hair at their brow, the color of skin on their cheeks, the size of my uncle’s hands, the smile of my Aunt’s Stephanie’s whole face, the sweetness of my little sister’s forehead. The way my father cut up the food of the young ones and the way he calls me Shi. And a book my Uncle gave me to read of Cowboy stories from Covello he and a friend had printed up. Things like that. And my father…I am on my way to see that old man on the hill now. A legend. A sage. A mystic. A one-eyed mystic. I hope to capture a bit of his eccentricity today to take home with me. I have brought him a Guadalupe Milagro heart because I know how much he loves the Virgin. And her heart. It is not wonder I turned out this way with my two parents – I didn’t stand a chance at normal did I?
The other night on one of our Legendary Life calls, the theme was passion. And so we were sharing passionate images and dreams and stories. My mom told the story of the night I was conceived. Here is one part…in the middle of the night they were walking down Montezuma Avenue in Forrest Knolls in the moonlight with nothing on but their cowboy boots. Quite an image. She said they were madly in love. They didn’t stay together long enough for me to be born into both of their arms, but my family always find it important for me to know the LOVE and passion I rode in on. And am still riding.
Last night when my Uncle Geoff gave me directions to my dad’s house up in Shelter Cove it could have been like in one of those old movies. Over the river and through the woods. The RED-woods. Then my sister piped in, don’t forget the old redwood stump. And the motorcycle shop. I thought I had it down with my little map of snakey lines when my dad called me to tell me I had to cross three rivers and if I had crossed a fourth river I had gone too far. Over the river and through the redwoods to Daddy’s house I go. Humboldt does not speak I-phone.