Day 62 Friday, September 9 Santa Rosa to Kelseyville, CA 76 miles
Kelseyville is a small town made up largely of farmers and retirees from the Bay Area. I live in Portland now where I am lucky to have an assortment of independent theaters, hundreds of restaurant options, museums, and concert halls all within a few minutes of a ride on the public train system. Plus Portland has Powells–the coolest bookstore in the whole nation! Even with all those cultural options I had mixed feelings about leaving Kelseyville in 2002. It did make the best sense for our family at the time for economic reasons, but I also knew I was leaving a piece of my heart behind.
As I turned onto Kelsey Creek Rd. just a few minutes ride to my dear friends, Kathy and Peter’s home, I started to feel a little closer to home. Portland is still a good 700 miles off, but I still feel like a piece of me belongs here. I have a few friends here who walked with me through the entire journey of our Kelseyville experience–from the shaping and development of the Quester Community, to the subsequent conflict and controversy, and finally to the chartering of a Unitarian Universalist congregation which is thriving and growing. It felt really good when Peter said, “Look what you started with the Quester Community.” I replied that I was pretty proud of what we did here in Kelseyville. I was not also able to say that. I internalized my forced resignation as a sign of failure as a minister. It is only in hindsight and with the benefit of age that I can see that losing a job is sometimes a part of the process of birthing something new.
I will take the day tomorrow to visit with old friends and get reacquainted with some I have not connected with for years. Since my two impromptu naps yesterday in the park I am savoring and looking for ways to allow for more unscheduled time. I don’t want to relish it so much that I don’t continue to move forward toward home, but I am finding that as I near home I am looking to create a pace that I can carry with me as I return.
Today was a picture of extremes. I left Santa Rosa while the fog was still sitting fairly heavy in the Sonoma Valley. I dressed lightly knowing that eventually it would burn off, but I was chilly for the first few miles of the ride. By the time I neared the town of Hopland about 25 miles from my destination the heat was scorching. It was even hotter than what I had experienced in the Nevada desert. In Hopland two men, Mike and Scott, reported that it had gotten to 106 degrees just before I had arrived. I can’t confirm that that was the actual temperature, but I do know it was hotter than the high 90’s I had experienced in Nevada.
The night is cooling now. Peter, Kathy and I sat out on their patio under a near full moon and caught up with each other. Deer were silhoutted out in their pasture. Crickets were chirping. The moonlight cast long banners of light across the fields and hillsides. The beer was cold. The food was elegantly and tastily prepared. But, the Giants lost to the Dodgers. So it wasn’t quite a perfect night. I will sleep well tonight. It isn’t my bed, but it feels a little like home.