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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
However, I am not certain. Am I here or not?
Or is it a dream?
Will I wake up back in Upper Michigan with a vague memory of dreaming of mountains?
(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?)