The winding, snaky turns of Highway 1 reactivated the physical memory of having driven those same curves almost 30 years ago. Everything looked as I remembered it and a woman I spoke to said, the locals like to keep it that way. How nice for me as this created a wonderful feeling that everything had been put on pause and started playing again when I moved back into the scene.
I ingested every scene and view, every tree and field...starving for its power to lift my spirits once again. I couldn't stop smiling as I remembered being twenty and driving down to Esalen for the first time to start my Work Scholar month. I was twenty. I ended up staying for a second month and then returning for a third and was hoping to stay even longer but all that ended with my father's sudden death all those years ago. Pulled out of there as though startled awake from a dream, I made several attempts to return but was never fully able to recapture the magic of those first months.
And then there's Nepenthe! What a joy to eat lunch there again!! It's open-air, color-saturated beauty lifted me to another time as I sat in the sun munching on a veggie burger looking at the shimmering Pacifc. I thought for sure I was dreaming as I had longed to come back to Big Sur for years just so I coule feel the place again that had captured my innocent heart.
Though I couldn't go into Esalen without a reservation, it was enough to stop at the top of the hill. Instead, I consoled myself by heading over to Julia Pfeiffer Burns Park.
Such a magical day!