The Bay Area is Amazing

What more can I say? After our long journey across America in all its splendor, California’s Bay Area hardly disappoints. Jose’s new home is in Pleasant Hill, a dense suburb with rapid transit and all the comforts of American excess. The neighborhoods are more compact, the homes smaller than I’d expect with this level of affluence, and that’s grounding. It is a pleasant and convenient place.

Last night we drove in to the Oakland hills to visit friends. The route took us through and under some of those spectacular steep grassy hills that look like golden suede, or the hide of a Sharpei. Popping out on the western side, there is The Bay, shimmering like a mirror. Said friends have a complete urban farm that runs on solar power and collected rain water. On a small lot they grow fruits, veggies, flowers and herbs. I’m enjoying one of their luscious lemons in my water.

Today I got to visit the Siddha Yoga Ashram in Oakland for a lovely lunch in their cafeteria, a browse in the bookstore. We peered into the large auditorium, dim and scented with years of devotion, then meditated in the temple, a tented garden where the flowering vines are working their way in, as if to receive blessings. What a beautiful place. Not just the surroundings but the pervasive aura, calm and loving.

Golden Gate Bridge

After the Ashram we set sail for the Marin Headlands, which took us on a magical tour over the Bay Bridge(s), across the Embarcadero, through some neighborhoods and onto the Golden Gate Bridge. I remembered how the first time I saw it I gasped “It’s RED!” I had assumed the bridge itself was golden.

San Francisco Bay

The topography of the Marin Headlands is mind boggling. Climbing up above the GGB gave me serious vertigo – the sensation that I was going to fall down, down, down.

I’ll leave the rest to pictures, and Josephine.

Friday evening, May 3rd

We’ve now been in Pleasant Hill terra firma for just a little over 48 hours. I oscillate between open-hearted wonder of being here, gratitude for sleeping in the same bed — for two nights now! —  and a certain anomie. I am not altogether rootless, and yet, it will take time to grow those roots that makes this home. So when I’m experiencing that not-here-yet, I have my free-floating fearful moments. They pass. They rerun, sometimes in dreams.

Today, open-hearted delight in taking Patrise to my beloved Siddha Yoga Ashram in Oakland for lunch, and after, a brief tour of the place. I was welcomed by Swami Siddhananda at the front desk, an old friend from years back. The very energy of the whole place welcomed me, as well as Patrise. I have arrived, I am home.
Our next destination was the Marin Headlands, where Patrise, Tango and I ritually touched the waters of the Left Coast. Connecting and grounding of another sort. After 10 days and 3,550 miles of patiently curling himself up in a small corner of the car, Tango –off leash — joyously galloped full speed up and down the beach, a bit shy of salt water, and ran and played with several other pups.
I have arrived. I am home. I will need to repeat that mantra more than once.
Tango and Patrise in the surf

We have completed our #coast2coast project. Touching the pacific, feeling its chill foam slosh around my legs, touching the salt to my lips, the mission is complete. The journey, however continues, with no less wonder.

9 thoughts on “The Bay Area is Amazing”

  1. I’ve been following but not responding, it’s been a lovely journey for me, and I’m glad Josephine is “home”. You’re in a totally magical place, and I wish I could be with you.

  2. Welcome to CA, Josephine! It was so great following your blog, though, have to admit, I lost your link after a few days but caught up today – what a journey, what memories, let’s not forget the pictures! I know you both will be talking about this trip for a long time to come, thanks for sharing!

  3. Patrise and (please share with) Josephine,

    I ‘feel’ you both here! I’ve enjoyed the sensual (and informative) postings along the way. . . and am thrilled that you have reached this destination (at least until the next one calls to you).

    When do you leave, Patrise? I was hoping to connect, but I have a snafu in the guise of a badly sprained ankle which has me pretty much housebound. Luckily (???) the tumble off a curb happened the morning after a dance performance (with an intergenerational dance company). So since my mobility is compromised, not sure what we might make happen, but do let me know if there is room for creative problem-solving.

    And Josephine, we have the luxury of time to connect. Welcome, welcome, welcome to your manifestation!

    Take care,

    Sharon

    Sharon Cox

    650.722.2791

  4. Am delighted to have Patrise’s take on MY California, having made the journey west as my mid-life adventure way back in 1988. Welcome, Josephine, to your new home. An invigorating lifechange on every level, as you will see.

  5. Wow Josephine and Patrise- what a journey! Thanks to both of you for documenting it in pictures and wonderful stories of adventure!
    Welcome to your new home Josephine!

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