Walking over the gnarled tree roots of my past, I revisit my refuge. My Big Sur refuge when I was young and these canopied woods afforded me small snippets of time to be free… free from my shame of poverty and oppression. Though the true freedom came from camping in the warmth and safety of majestic redwoods. The only requirements for camping were exploring and daydreaming to my hearts’ content. Riding my bike as fast as I could go and feeling the wind rushing past my cheeks and ears. It felt so good to run. And it seemed, I kept running and running. I ran from all I couldn’t bear, and holes I couldn’t fill. I ran from despair and heartache, neglect and abuse. I continued to run well into my adulthood. And through a series of profound experiences and unconditionally loving humans, I finally realized that I wasn’t running from anyone or my past. I was running from me. I had rejected the parts of myself that had suffered abuse, and I also had rejected parts of myself who had caused pain and caused abuse. That’s what caused me to stop running from it all. The simple realization that to move forward and stop running in circles, I had to welcome and embrace all parts of myself. I had the pleasure of experiencing this catharsis on my last trip to Big Sur. Walking next to the river, I walked over the same tree roots I had walked over my entire life. They felt the same as always. The earth and roots next to the river were cool and smooth and the sand mixed with dirt felt delicious on my bare feet. I dipped my feet in the flowing river and was overcome by the shock of the cold. It was crisp and cleansing and the perfect sensation for such a cathartic moment in time. Everything was the same, yet everything about me was so very different. It was not so glorious as it was simple. When I finally became one within me, I was able to connect and see the oneness of which I was a part. And I stood alone in that river in the cool morning fog and I felt grateful for my place in the world. I felt so utterly grateful to finally feel like I was home.
A cathartic moment in the Big Sur River.