Alone once more

Day 24: Esalen to Kirk Creek Campground

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Alone once more. A stark contrast to the intensity of a weekend retreat with 120 people, sharing stories, feelings, struggles, joviality. Riding off, I was a bit in shock. Now I have to be alone, after all of that?

I didn’t want to leave. As hard as it was to get connected, to settle in to a quick routine of living at Esalen, I really landed myself there. Felt at home. Learned so much through the writing sessions, through talking and sharing with other folks, through soaking and walking on the land, through gazing out over the endless sea and into the endless stars at night.

So with great reluctance I rode off, down over the stunning Big Sur coast. My ass was sore from the new seat I’d gotten in Santa Cruz. My legs tired, from what – soaking? Maybe. I’d lost my stride. Slowly it came back, climbing hills, riding through a scary construction zone, where the road had disappeared and was being rebuilt.

Then I landed at Kirk Creek Campground, and found I felt at home again. I like car campgrounds. They remind me of family vacations from my youth. All the families, middle class folks, getting back to the land, while taking their little houses with them – trailers, RVs, tents.

I get to camp in the special hiker/biker sites, which are a little more rustic, a little more wild. The raccoon visited last night, but I told him, nothing here for you. Smartly, I’d stashed my food bag in the lock box this time.

Sun setting so early, I went to bed around 730pm, knowing I’d be up a few times during the night. Thick fog rolling in, yet I could see sky and sea where it broke through. The dense eucalyptus grove just off the hiker/biker site was at once foreboding and welcoming. I could see pitching a cozy tent there.

I will write more of the Esalen retreat, once I upload a long video of Sy Safransky’s readings. I need more time and more miles to process. For now, I am feeling the loss, the longing to belong, the void created after only briefly being filled with camaraderie, friendship, commiseration, community. Tomorrow  I ride alone, opening wide the void to discover my self, to find insight, confusion, resolution, solace.

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