Pinch me–I think I’m dreaming

Sunrise in the mountains

In my dream I’m visiting a place near Mariposa, California, with a dear friend, Melinda.  We have been friends for about ten years.  We met a long long time ago at a spiritual retreat in Montana and she promised that she would be a “faithful friend”. 

And so it has been.

Melinda laughing

She visited me in the Upper Peninsula maybe five years ago–oh, who knows how many years ago?–and has kept wondering when I planned to come visit her mountaintop in California.  I kept putting it off because…because…because I have too many family members to visit ’round this beautiful country.

But now the moment was ripe.  A free airplane ticket.  Some time off work.  Another opportunity to visit another friend up in Lake Tahoe. 

Off to California I flew.

A mountain creature at sunrise

She actually pinched me–and herself–this morning!  Just to make sure we aren’t dreaming. 

I am not convinced it isn’t a dream.

Here’s why:

Buddha and his flowers

She lives in a paradise she’s created atop this mountain.  She moved here maybe thirteen years ago and has been creating an amazing haven.  She’s an artist and loves to craft things of beauty. 

She has created a spiritual retreat called “Flaming Heart” and holds workshops (and provides space for meetings and other gatherings) in her yurts.  She is a shamanic practitioner and guides people on journeys to find and reclaim their deepest selves.  She has built tiny little cabins throughout the trees where seekers (and friends!) can pause to enjoy the vista and forest and mountain.

White Buffalo sits alongside Buddha

Add to this–it’s springtime in the mountains.  This is the green time of year here.  The time when flowers abound and bloom everywhere.  In less than a month the temperature will turn hot and the earth will become dry and yellow, but now is the rainy season.

It looks like Eden.

Statue of Mary oversees rock pool and cave

We met yesterday at the Fresno airport and worked our way north and west.  (I think.)  We talked and laughed non-stop.  It was as if we had never said goodbye all those years ago.  We started up without a pause.  It’s good to be with a friend that you can let yourself so deeply BE yourself.

California poppy opens gently with the dawn

Her friend and caretaker, Meg, had made us a delicious bowl of soup last night.  Perhaps cream of potato and rutabaga soup.  But, you know, I can’t remember what kind of soup it was.  (Don’t any of you nod like this is an expected confession!) 

We toured the property, walked the three lively dogs up the mountain, ooohed and ahhhhed over the vista (that would be me), drank ginger tea and settled my suitcase and backpack in one of the tiny cabins.  I was asleep by 8 p.m.  after watching the darkness descend over the mountain.  Windows up above the bed illuminated the sky. 

Heaven?  Was I in heaven?

White cat on roof

The answer is:  yes.  She ground up the greatest coffee beans at 6:30 a.m. and we lounged outside drinking our coffee, talking and laughing more.  The doors of her house are always open.  There is little distinction between indoors and outdoors.  We in Upper Michigan could never live like this.  We would be consumed by insects.  Not here. 

Open doors everywhere

Meg keeps a couple of goats.  One of the goats gave birth to babies a week ago.  Oh, so cute!  Adorable baby goats!  They are great kissers, too. 

A week old baby goat

After a breakfast of cottage cheese, vegetables and almonds (seriously–delicious!) and more coffee, we hiked more around the mountain and property.  Then she had to leave for a four-hour work shift.  I immediately fell asleep again.  And then remembered–ahh yes–time to write the blog.  Everybody is probably wondering whether I made it to the mountains.

The tiny cabin where I sleep (and now write this blog)

However, I am not certain.  Am I here or not?

Melinda stops to smell the blossoms on our morning walk

Or is it a dream?

Yurts--for workshops

Will I wake up back in Upper Michigan with a vague memory of dreaming of mountains?

How would you like this view out your window?

(That is why I am showing you so many photos.  Compressed them all so you could see a lot of varied views.  So you can witness a larger view of this world.  Amazing, huh?)

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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26 Responses to Pinch me–I think I’m dreaming

  1. Snoopykg1 says:

    What a beautiful beginning to your journey with a good friend. I am not so sure if I am going to start dreaming after I saw all this! Let the dreams begin…

    Nice little cabin….I personally enjoyed the statue of Mary as well….

    Keep sending the enjoyment…..Kim

  2. Dawn says:

    I love yurts, there is a special energy in round spaces.

    Have a wonderful time. I got lost in the link to Flaming Heart, so much to see and read. 🙂

    Buffalo and Buddha, that makes me happy.

  3. Marianne says:

    Amazing is right, Kathy! Just beautiful. I could handle living there. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Kathy – All I can say is Ohhhhhhhhhhhh myyyyyyyyyyyyyy goooooooooosh!

  5. jeffstroud says:


    This is so completely amazing! It is not a dream you have the photographic evidence to support otherwise, You have the long lasting eternal friendship of Melinda!

    The photos views are amazing, your experience is truly amazing…

    I am Love, Jeff

  6. Elisa's Spot says:

    OOOOOOOO yay…. one of my new morning spots will be on that railing with the ‘creature’, perhaps YOUR house might be a bit more quiet some mornings now 😛

  7. Kiah says:

    Hi Melinda!

    That goat is enormous for being 1 week old!

  8. Barbara says:

    Amazing views! And very pretty gardens. What a wonderful setting, where a friendship can continue to grow and flourish. Enjoy!

  9. Barb says:

    You are definitely in Paradise! Enjoy your stay. (I love the last photo especially.)

  10. Emma says:

    It looks and sounds just wonderful!

  11. Gerry says:

    I love the cabin. I would like to spend a week in a cabin like that. And I love Melinda’s laugh. Friendships like that are extraordinary.

  12. Kathy says:

    Kathy and Melinda–wonderful place there on the mountain! Looks like vacation mode is in full swing, despite the shift M had to work today. Sure looks like you two picked up wherever you left off.
    I agree with Kiah’s comment–that goat is huge for one week old–almost as big as that cat on the roof. Are pregnant mom goats the size of moose out there??? Great home, Melinda. Love the scenery, creatures, cabins and yurts. –Barry

  13. Kim says:

    I love the photo of the “tiny cabin!” Great shot…looks like a scene that came out of a movie 🙂

  14. Cindy Lou says:

    Oh my…..I would be continually pinching myself in a place like that! Too many beautimous photos to pick one but I do love the one of Melinda laughing in the morning sun…..blessings to you, dear friend, for the rest of your sojourn!

  15. Fountainpen says:

    These friendships are such treasures!!!!!!!!!!! And surround us with such
    beauty inside and out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks for sharing your friendships with us, Kathy.


  16. cloud says:

    Yay! You finally made it. I’m happy you are experiencing the beauty that is Melinda. Best of fun and love together in your visit!

  17. Reggie says:

    What a magical, enchanting, healing place! Truly, a paradise in the mountains! Wish I was there with you. It is so clear that you are both having a wonderful time together – thank you for sharing this, Kathy. Sigh.. totally magical!

  18. Colleen Lloyd says:

    Kathy, I can feel the beauty and the peace of this place just be reading your words and looking at your photos. Can only imagine what it must be like to actually be there!!

  19. Doris says:

    Kathy: Wow! never expected to see such beauty……and the tiny cabin..who would ever expect something so neat.
    Your friend Melinda sound’s so interesting. Thank you for sharing.
    Take care!

  20. Dawn K says:

    Wonderful views, wonderful location, wonderful little cottage, wonderful friend! Enjoy!!!

  21. Kathy says:

    Thank you all for stopping by to be part of this wonderful trip. I am so busy being present with my beautiful friend and the mountain that it’s hard to spend TOO much time at the computer. Just wanted to thank you with my whole heart–and Melinda’s whole heart too–that you took some time to visit on the blog. Love, Kathy

  22. Kathy, I get filled up and renewed just reading your story and wandering from image to image… please… go be present! :))))))))

  23. Kathy says:

    Thanks, Terrill! I have never felt SO present! (But glad of a few minutes here at the computer, too.)

  24. patty sue says:

    Kathy Sue,
    thanks for sharing this with me. I am late to comment having just discovered this dream-like blog/place because of one of Melinda’s neighbors who posted an incredible video on You Tube about witnessing double rainbows … it’s gone viral! Thank you so much! I am now thinking that I’d like to journey down to take part in some of what Melinda has to offer. yep!

    • Kathy says:

      Glad you enjoyed, Ms. P.S. (Get it? Patty Sue? P.S.??–OK, never mind, early morning humor!) Yes, indeed, you should motor on down to Yosemite and visit Melinda’s place and maybe you can meet Paul and marvel with him about double rainbows. Love you!

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