Sunday, January 24, 2010
To Big Sur with Love
big sur campground & cabins - night 5
Originally uploaded by gorgol
I had a very nice weekend. It left me missing Michael in a profound way, but the experience was well worth the tears.
My boys and I arrived in Big Sur in the early afternoon. It rained the whole way there, but was a very soothing rain. We checked into the campground, and went straight to our cabin. Both boys were very excited, as the cabin was a beautiful pine wood, and everything well cared for. After eating some sandwiches we had brought we headed over to Nepenthe Restaurant where some of our group had gone for lunch. Driving over the hill to that end of Big Sur was amazing, as it was completely dry, and full of sun. Nepenthe has these long rows of outdoor seating. They are set up as very long outdoor counters, with chairs along them. You have a meal, glass of wine, or dessert, and just gaze at the grandeur of nature. It's breathtaking. Anyway, the boys each ordered a slice of their 4 layer chocolate fudge cake, which each looked like a quarter of the cake. They were huge. It was actually very funny to see their expression when the cake arrived. I enjoyed a tall coffee with Kahlua. Mmmn, very tasty.
The view south
Originally uploaded by hjw3001
After catching up with our friends we headed back to the campground so that everyone could get ready for a long hike. It started raining a bit harder, so my boys decided they would rather stay at the camp and play basketball. The rest of us headed over to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park for our hike. By this time the rain was really coming down, but it just added to the fun time. We first headed up the Valley View Trail, which takes you through the beautiful redwood trees, which are contrasted with eucalyptus. All this, with the fresh falling rain, was just spectacular. The smell of the eucalyptus always makes me feel as though I am walking through a large outdoor spa. Once we got to the top of the trail the rain stopped, and the sky opened up with the glorious sun shining down on us. This gave us the opportunity to marvel at the wonder of mother nature. After taking all this in we headed back down, the across to the Pheiffer Falls Trail. I had not been to the falls before, as both times Michael and I tried to hike there the park was closed for one reason or another. Today it was open, although the direct area around the falls was closed off with ropes and warning signs due to the rain induced mud-slides. I stood there and thought, what are they going to do? Escort us out for trespassing? There was no one around, so it was a perfect time to venture up on our own. This is where I got out some of Michael's ashes. First I let some fall into the water that moved down and around the hills. I then put some into the stone wall where the falls come down.
pfeiffer falls, up close
Originally uploaded by monkeycat!
I miss Michael so much, but today's missing Michael was a bit different. I missed him in a very communal way. Everyone I was with loved Michael so much. They all had so many stories to tell, and each had eyes full of tears when sharing them. I love these people, and appreciated all that they did for Michael. Each of them contributed so much to our relationship, each contributed so much when Michael was sick, and each has contributed to me since his death.
After breakfast we checked out of our cabins, and drove further south to the Partington trail, that surprisingly lead to the Partington Cove. It's a beautiful cove that is currently all underwater, but surrounded by high cliff of large rock and boulders. This was the site for our memorial celebration of Michael. Craig brought the small urn I gave him after Michael's original memorial, and another friend, Jen, brought a colorful bouquet of flowers. We all sat of the rocks, and shared thoughts and memories of Michael. Craig then carefully walked over to the edge, and poured some of Michael's ashes into the ocean. The rest of us, one by one, took a flower to toss into the water below. When everyone was finished I went and sat at the edge, and quietly scattered more of the ashes I had brought. Soon my son Remy came and sat next to me. Which was quite brave of him, as he has a fear of heights. I tell you, I sat there looking down into the violently splashing water, and for a moment thought, "just jump in." I didn't mean it in a harmful way, but there was definitely a voice within planting the idea. The others must have heard it too, because I was soon surrounded by a few friends, wanting to engage me in other thoughts. I made a comment about floating in the water with all the flowers, and the others quickly said, "that's not going to happen."
Originally uploaded by fotios
Once I was away from the edge, a few of the others came over to give me very tight and loving hugs and kisses on the cheek. I realized in that moment that it had been so long since I've been held by another adult. I've had some short hugs by friends at work, but to have a prolonged solid hug, well, it felt as though Michael was holding me. It was such a nice feeling.
After all of this, the boys and I climbed into our car, and started our drive back to San Francisco. The boys were noticing every detail of the view as we drove. They said they had such a good time, and loved getting to be in a place that Michael loved. It was wonderful sharing this with them. I promised the boys we would come back during the summer, and stay at one of the resorts for a week.