from Steinbeck’s Log

sunrise : isla carmen : sea of cortez

“One thing had impressed us deeply on this little voyage: the great world dropped away very quickly.  We lost the fear and fierceness and contagion of war and economic uncertainty.  The matters of great importance we had left were not important.  There must be an infective quality in these things.  We had lost the virus, or it had been eaten by the anti-bodies of quiet.  Our pace had slowed greatly; the hundred thousand small reactions of our daily world were reduced to very few.”

– John Steinbeck, The Log from the Sea of Cortez

Day One

Palm Grove

Woke before the sun.  To match the approach of winter, she shifts her arc farther south, rising over the middle of Isla Carmen.  This morning, the skies were crystal clear, not even a breeze ruffled the surface of the Sea.

Walking north, the great heron stood – nearly as tall as me! – fishing on the shore.  Beyond him, the white egret, his cousins the fluffy egrets and a small herd of sanderlings shared the shallow feeding grounds.

I inhaled deeply the sea air.  Put my hands in the water and reminded myself to devote more energy to whatever means I can muster to both protect and enhance all the seas.  I feel my life path shift beneath me … I open my arms to the challenges of re-crafting a life beyond the mid-point.

This is day one of my move to Loreto.  The small city is now my residence; a change from my retreat.  Although in some ways, I suppose having my home as a retreat is actually quite awesome.  As I type from beneath the palapa on the beach, a flotilla of pelicans and blue footed boobies dive bomb in formation, the second set of feeders to entertain me this morning in these shallow waters.

Yesterday’s flight was late in departing Los Angeles.  A hilarious combination of a stuck gas valve, missing flight crew, changed planes, and then a push-back device that broke and could not be detached.  By the time the Horizon Air flight arrived in Loreto, the Mexican shippers I had hired had come and gone.  Gratefully, my neighbor Diane, had told them just to put the boxes in the space between the house and the garage.  The driver, Javier, called in the evening to confirm that I had arrived and that everything was okay.  Back to that leap of faith .. the trusting of those I had never met and only dealt with on the internet .. to delivery my belongings intact.

I’m thinking it’s that same leap of faith – the one that brought me to purchase this home five years ago against the advice of almost everyone – that has led me to this move.  The palms have grown taller.  The palapa fronds and tiles changed out.  I’ve come to embrace the idiosyncrasies – like no water for a day or two – that make living in Mexico unlike living in the states.

My intention for the day is absorption and rest.  My surroundings here on the edge of the sea inform what I feel is the best of me.  It’s taken a while to arrive.

Leap of Faith

First steps in the big move …

Tonny’s crew picked up all 52 boxes last week and headed for the warehouse in Chula Vista, where they’ll stay until they are loaded on the bigger truck bound for Loreto.

I had spent two weeks sorting and tossing – itemizing each box with contents for their border crossing.  It was only the morning of the pickup when I realized I had 52 numbered boxes and a very complete bill-of-lading, but not one box had my name on it.  What would happen to box #17 if it fell off the truck somewhere between the states and Loreto?  It would be lost forever; no way to find itself home.  Hastily, I printed out labels with name, address, phone number and applied them to each box.  Silly me!

When the truck left Laguna, I was thinking of what a leap of faith I had taken.  I’d never spoken to anyone in the company, but had exchanged multiple emails.  Tonny had been chosen on the recommendation of my next door neighbor, Rachel, who had used their services to haul furniture to her home in Cabo.  So with little more than – here you go – I gave the driver a check made out to the wife of the man who would do the long drive, a map to my home in Loreto, in exchange for a checked off list of the numbered boxes that were loaded on his truck and an expected delivery date of October 25.

I love this process … in some ways so perfectly like falling off the edge and letting the universe work it’s magic.

The dream of packing ….

Ha Ha!  No one ever dreams of packing – unless it’s a kind of nightmare.  But packing is now my middle name as I sort/toss and organize what to carry from one phase of my life into the next.

It’s amazing how much one collects in a lifetime … I mean, just how many sets of colored pencils does a woman need?

My next door neighbor in Laguna Beach, Rachel, has connected me with the packers that she used to ship furniture, etc to her home in Cabo San Lucas.  Tonny has been great with emails and estimates, and as I hone down what I actually want to take with me, the ‘ship’ date gets closer.  He said it was no problem to stop in Loreto.

Now it’s anticipation and excitement as new opportunities and alliances begin to surface in places I could not have imagined.

Mexico here I come!

A home by the sea …

Dawn on the Sea of CortezThis first time I set foot on the property that was to become “Casa de Catalina,” my mind flashed a message : “This is where we come to get well.”

It had been a brutal year with the death of my brother and the loss of my mother’s home in the Laguna landslides.  My marriage was shaky and work had lost some of it’s glimmer.

As I stood in the patio of a home I was not quite sure I could afford, the message seemed so clear.  I could hear the voices of my friends laughter.  I could see their faces radiant with smiles.

And so it turned to be exactly that.  Little did I know then, that I’d find myself living in Loreto more than not, but life throws those curves, and an opportunity that I cannot resist has presented itself to me.

So now, sunrises on the Sea of Cortez every morning.  Beach walks with a small pack of dogs.  Great neighbors and the intimacy of a small community.  Waters teaming with life and beckoning for underwater – as well as above water – adventures.

I am reminded by all these twists in the pathway I had imagined, that there are few certainties .. but many open roads …..