Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Onwards & Upwards Indeed


Tahoe from its northeast corner.

I had high hopes for my vacation. I had secret agendas centered around some kind of miraculous and spontaneous regeneration of heart and soul. I prayed for some kind of shift away from all the sadness I've experienced since my dog died earlier this summer.

Having been around the block a few times, though, I assumed that perhaps my hopes were a bit too ambitious. I assumed (when I was being rational) that it would be a fun nice refreshing break from the usual, and I was of course very much looking forward to reconnecting with old friends I haven't seen in ages.

If that's all it had been, it would have been more than enough.


Sacramento Street, close to Montgomery (reversed and distorted, reflected from the hood of a black Prius).

San Francisco was in a good mood the day I was there, a really good mood. I was given the opportunity to experience the magic of the swirling fog. (It really is magic and deserves a whole post to itself.) At the perfect moment, however, the fog cleared away completely, revealing the city in sparkling technicolor. Wow. When San Francisco shines, it really shines.

As is my practice when I'm there, I ate as much lettuce as I could, marveled at the soft, clean tap water, and stared dumbfounded out of windows that are not obscured by screens. There are no bugs in San Francisco. Can you imagine?


The Ferry Building, at the foot of Market Street.

I spent most of my holiday above 6,000 feet at Lake Tahoe, gasping for air (I am a swamp thing, after all, so the altitude was a shock), gathering with friends I haven't seen in more than 15 years, feasting, toasting, bellowing, laughing, cooking together, drinking and making up for lost time.

There is so much love and commitment among those people. The core group have known each other since high school where they immediately bonded and started doing theater together. As the years passed they collected spouses and friends as people do, all of whom were immediately adopted by everyone in the core group. It's a family of spirit that I am honored to be a part of.

Reconnecting with this family was a miracle, it really was. The confluence of fifty-somethings in the deep blue light and sweet smelling air of Tahoe was an elixir the likes of which I've never experienced. The effect on me was spectacular, a soul retrieval of the highest magnitude you can imagine. I don't have the language to describe it. It was bliss.


The island in the center of Emerald Bay.

Each night after the sun set, we turned off all the lights, went out on the deck and gazed at the stars. STARS!! I saw So Many Stars! I saw the Milky Way three nights in a row. I wept with happiness three nights in a row, seriously I did.

Saturday I had lunch with Nancy of the blog Life in the Second Half who is as beautiful, lovely, smart and compassionate as she is on the blog. After our lunch, my old friend Dave drove me all the way around the lake. Tahoe is 29 miles long and 15 miles wide. It's BIG. Dave has a jeep, the top was down, my hair was flying around, the weather was absolute perfection. I was in ecstacy. He didn't wince, frown or stare at me as I shouted I LOVE YOU at the lake over and over again. He knows me really well, and understood exactly what was going on. Wow.


Nancy and her husband, studying the lunch menu.

Yes I am still flying high, yes I am. My vacation was everything I hoped it would be. And more - how could that happen? Someone up there really likes me, obviously.

My heart is full of love, splendor and more gratitude than I knew I could experience. All I can say is: wow.


Heavenly Valley, a ski resort, seen from the west side of the lake.

37 comments:

lacochran said...

Terrific! :)

Ronda Laveen said...

What can I say? Reading your post made me happy. The shift in your energy is so light, airy and joyous. The pictures are lovely and I can't get enough even though I have the opportunity to seem them more often than most. Smiles)

ellen abbott said...

OMG...look at the color of that sky and water. How beautiful. So happy for you. I feel your happiness all the way down here.

JC said...

Lake Tahoe & San Francisco are Very Peaceful ... you picked well for your Vacation

How nice that you got to meet Nancy ..

Nancy said...

Your pictures are amazing! I loved the ones of San Francisco. You captured Tahoe so well, and we so loved having lunch with you and Dave. Please come back soon!

Liza said...

I love the idea of your hair flying around! I am glad I am not the only one who breaks into a cry when I feel that connection. The pictures are gorgeous, I am glad you enjoyed yourself, and I am looking forward to your post on the swirling fog.

Tom said...

wow...you really yelled at the lake? wow... & welcome back, too.

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks, Ronda. I feel infused with blue and bright white. It's that California blue sky with so much green in it, it's almost aquamarine. SO healing!

Yes Tom - but I didn't yell, though my voice was Very Loud. Dave just smiled and kept driving. He really does know me!

Jeninacide said...

I am glad you had an amazing time! You deserve it! I also went to Tahoe after a hard summer and it was very healing. All my childhood friends and my beautiful lake! I was so sad to leave!

Steve said...

What spectacular photos -- WOW! It sounds like a magical time. There's nothing to compare with getting together with old friends for restoring the spirit, especially in such a phenomenal locale.

Having grown up in Florida and lived my whole life on the East Coast, I can't conceive of a place with no insects!

steven said...

well hey reya!!! look at that blue water, shades of blue hills and mountains. no wonder you had to race 'round the lake and yell your heart out!!! if that stuff all stayed in you, you'd float off into the bug-free blue blue sky!! happy to see you!

Reya Mellicker said...

Steven, you're right! At 6,000 feet I felt like I was already in the wild blue yonder!

k-brow said...

I love that Northern California light so much. It's irridescent; everything seems to glitter with an energy of its own.

I lived in SF the year after I was in the Peace Corps. It was stunning how insect-free it all was. I also froze that year.

So glad you went. So glad you're back!

Rebecca Clayton said...

So glad you had the trip you needed.

I've only been that far West once, but it was this time of year, and I was awestruck! Stars! BIG mountains! It's a land of exclamation points for sure!

Here on Droop Mountain, we're the busy ants getting our anthill ready for winter, so thanks for this mental vacation trip.

Bee said...

The clear, glittering, fresh quality of these photographs make me feel that I can almost breathe in (and thus access) your high spirits! So glad for you. xx

Friends (new and old) are just the best, aren't they?

e said...

Just what the doctor ordered for your grieving heart. Wonderful for you and thanks for sharing.

The colors and the sky in SF bring back memories. I would love to see that lake myself.

Rose said...

It looks so lovely and I can so see why it made your spirit shine.... XX

lakeviewer said...

Oh, I'm so glad you saw friends and had a great time seeing stars and marvelling at the no-screens windows. Joyful.

Reya Mellicker said...

Yes, Bee, friends are everything.

Alaine said...

Heavenly Valley, so aptly named. What a wonderful place to visit! So glad you had such a fantastic time!

Delwyn said...

Hi Rey

high altitudes
high spirits
high hopes

just high...


Happy days

John Hayes said...

So happy you had a great vacation--you make a getaway to the Bay Area sound really tempting to this ex-San Franciscan; & you're 100% right--when SF shines, it really shines.

Barbara Martin said...

I have always loved San Francisco. Reya, you captured the essence of the city and Lake Tahoe perfectly in your photos! It's been ages since I was there, and now those photos are beckoning with the lure.

Your post reflects a shift in your consciousness. Now you will be able to make the decisions necessary that come up in the near future.

Karen said...

I'm so glad it was everything you needed and more!

Meri said...

I am so happy that you got everything you needed, including the chance to shout "I Love You!" at the top of your lungs. Well deserved joy!

larkspur said...

Sounds like your soul has been restored. Glad you got out of the swamp and into the light...

Reya Mellicker said...

Don't get me wrong: I love the swamp, I do. But yes I needed to get up and out, and mostly I needed my amazing friends/spirit family.

Barbara thank you. I do believe I'm ready to make those decisions now - whatever they may be!

LadrĂ³n de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Sorry that I missed the chance to meet you while you were in town but maybe on a future trip west (or mine east). Great photos.

While I agree that there are fewer bugs here than any place else where I've lived, I would challenge you to make the "no bugs" statement after seeing the black ants that invade my place every winter.

Cyndy said...

So glad you had such a fabulous time. You sound so exhilerated!

Dan Gurney said...

Welcome to California! I had hoped you would find my neck of the woods to your liking...you kinda outdid yourself! I'm glad you found the Golden State so rejuvenating. And there are wonders (like the north coast) that await your return.

Mary Ellen said...

Big wide smile! I'm so happy you had this break - and breakthrough of exuberance and energy. The pictures sparkle too.

Reya Mellicker said...

Dan I lived in California for fifteen years so although I did not have a chance to explore every nick and cranny, I did see a lot of it. The air in Mendecino County, for instance, is instantly intoxicating. Awesome air.

Ladron I should have said FLYING bugs. There are hardly any flying bugs, hence no need for screens. I'm so sorry I missed you, too!

Merle Sneed said...

Sounds like a super time.

Amy said...

Oh, Reya! I'm so incredibly happy that you had such a wonderful time and a spirit renewing experience. You needed it and deserved it. Life is good that way sometimes. Thrilled...just thrilled, is what I am for you.

karen said...

Absolutely stunning!The photos, the words, the atmosphere of your wonderful holiday. I feel quite elated after reading your post, and I know the desire to weep at the stars, and shout at the lake! I think splendour is a perfect word here, too!

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Beautiful pictures, beautiful weather, beautiful scenes & beautiful friends what more could a girl want?!
This core group sounds wonderful... that is something I don't have and don't think I've ever experienced. I think I've missed out on something very special.
Lizzy

Valerie said...

I have always wanted to visit San Francisco. It looks a lovely place, fabulous scenery and such heavenly blue water and sky.