Thursday, April 19, 2012

Day 824: Greater than through love and support

I want to get this out before I get to far away from the trip and finsih the blog post about the trip to the West Coast. I really need to for my own sake becuase there were some things that happened that were just affirming of the direction that my life is heading in.

When we touched down in San Fransisco, it was amazing to me. I had made it for the very first time across the country. For some, well, that is just no big deal. For me, it was huge. Johnnie pointed out to me as we headed into the city the pacific ocean. I was seeing the pacific ocean for the first time and in my mind I was thinking, I am going to touch that before I leave.

I was exhausted from the flight, but with the time change it was only 10 in the morning. We got into the city and I was let off at my hotel. When I walked in the hotel clerk informed me that my room would not be available until 2. My heart sank. But, I locked up my luggage and struck out with my carry on on my back and just headed down the street. I saw one of those double decker open air tourist buses and hoped on. It was the smartest thing I could have done. I got an open air ride to all the major points in the city and went around as much as I could. It was the perfect way to orient myself to this place and to actually find out where I was. I got to Pier 39 and had lunch with sourdough bread and clam chowder and the famous Boudin's bakery. Years ago my mother and step dad would travel here and mother LOVED sourdough. This was a place for me to stop for her. It was awesome and so filling. From the pier I saw the golden gate for the first time in the distance and it was surreal to see it. It was deceptive at what distance it lay, but there it was. I rode around and walked more getting my bearings and discovered the Academy of Arts University. I had no idea what it was, but the sculpture outside this one building was amazing. I walked more and gallery after gallery was filled with things that made this Magpie have whiplash! :) By 2, I went back and checked in, but I had it in mind that I was going to go to the bridge. Understand that my purpose in San Fran was professional development. Already in one day I had seen so much of an amazing city that was supportive of an art community. I saw galleries that were clearly being fed by such an abundance of art and patrons, but the afternoon was about wanting to go see something I had heard about and seen all of my life: the Golden Gate Bridge. Secondarily, I wanted to see if I could overcome my fear of heights and actually go on it..and in the back of my mind, I wanted to see if I could run it.
Well..I took the bus back to pier 39 and then got off and started walking. Like I said, it was way further than I ever imagined...but the closer I walked, the more excited I got. It was over an hour. But here is the very cool thing:

Somewhere along the walk I heard in my head "be careful not to get so caught up in the destination that you miss something along the way".

Over and over that paid off, but twice in particular. I was walking along and on my left there was this amazing structure...seemingly way out of place that turned out to be the left over of the 19 something world fair called the palace of fine arts. It simply is a collossally beautiful structure. I actually ended up liking it becuase it was just nice. just beautiful. After I left there and passed through this amazing Crissy field, I came onto a rocky place by the bay shore and a man was making sculptures/forms out of rocks. he was balancing large on small and making these forms..and the very making of them was an act of peace, suspense, and tranquility. Everything seemed to just stop around him. It was beautiful. I was transfixed.
I moved on and what was running through my mind tried to get me to turn back. Tried to tell me that there was no way I was going to get up on that bridge. But I pushed forward. I was met at the base of the climb to the bridge by a staircase through hillsides of lillys growing wild..their white petals open to the afternoon sun. It was breathtaking..and I began the climb up. My intense fear of heights melted into that hillside and I climbed up to the bridge..and once on it...I run! The wind..the sun..everything was so intensely freeing. I felt safe...but never ventured to close to the rails. It was phenomenal! I broke free..but more importantly...just like in the flight..I gave over control..gave over to the experience..made the decision to let go and because of that...I was able to experience something amazing!

That, as it turns out, was the lesson of the whole trip: by letting not trying to control it..not caving to fear...and truly allowing myself to show up in that moment and accept the very gifts that were being given to me in those moments, those experiences, those opportunities, I was able to do more, have more, and GROW! the who trip was like that! I was able to take elevators to the 27th floor of buildings(have not done that in years). I went and experienced so much Art and find out people in museums: get their so much that could and would have such a was extraordinary!

On the last day, I went to the Legion of amazing Museum on a cliff looking over the pacific ocean. I won't go into the journey out there..but it, in and of itself was awesome on public transportaion. But, after I went through the shows and exhibitions and made some very real connections for us here, I went to walk the grounds. I could see, again, the pacific ocean..and I knew, like the bridge, that it was further than it appeared..and there is actually a golf course around the i walked along the cart path headed towards the ocean. I was not prepared for what came next. I went past the gate that did allow for any traffic from carts to continue and as I rounded a corner...a vista opened up like nothing I have ever witnesses in my life. I was on a cliff...looking out onto the pacific ocean....below me were giant rocks, waves crashing on them. Trees on the side with wind rushing literally took my breath away and I said outloud and with tears going down my face "God, why do you give me so many blessings" was such an amazing gift. Just then a couple..interestingly enough from Virginia came walking up from the path to my right and I said "isn't it amazing" and they said yes and that there was a way down the cliff to the actual beach. I was inspired. I followed the direction they gave and found myself on a mile long climb down to the beach through what felt like Hobbitt woods: thick, ancient, knarled trees..and then I landed..this southern boy..never on the west coast..landed on the pacific ocean. The colored stones were magical...I had to take a few :)! I am stone freak..but just to look at them where they are was enough. What beauty!

Just think about it...2 years ago..I never could have done this..but showing up and letting making that decision to give myself is stunning what life holds. I am not and we are not in is so hard to expereince that all the time..but God, when I
thanks be!

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