Laying on a picnic table under the starriest night I’ve laid eyes on in Big Sur after what feels like the best day I could’ve asked for – I’ve seen 9 shooting stars with my back on the Earth and my eyes in the sky. But how many days are in the vault labeled something like, “Best day I could’ve asked for”?
These special days are filled with beautiful moments, scenery, hills, laughter, eating...and this trip is full of so many days like this and it’s all going by in my mind like one of these shooting stars in the sky. Some day, I’ll be 50 years old and I’ll have twice as many “Best Days” in my memory, piled up and disorganized like random clutter in a junk drawer.
I’ll say things like, “10 years ago –or maybe 15” before I start to tell a story. Maybe one day I’ll tell the story of when I ate some shrooms at Big Sur and walked to the beach and became a bump on a log, a blade of grass, and a shrub on the side of a cliff and sea hawks hovered and flew over me, their wings sharp like blades. The waves crashed and made intricate curved patterns like veins or smoke; out in the distance the water looked like 3D shapes all floating and bumping, catching the glare from the sun.
The delicate flowers were black against the sky and their ends broke off and became pelicans swooping into the blue. Becoming human again and coming off the cliffs I backtracked down the trail, the mountains in the distance caught the last bit of sunlight and glowed a bright pink that darkened to red and then purple, like a bruise, until the sun dipped and it all went gray.
I lay on the ground and watched it all. One of the mountains looked like a sad, tired face and I felt like it was mother nature and she was telling me, “it’s okay” and I felt loved. By the time I got back to my tent the stars were already coming out. I got in my sleeping bag but, hung my head outside my tent to stare up at the starriest night I’ve laid eyes on.
Or maybe I’ll have an even better story to tell of an even better day and my night in Big Sur will just go by the wayside, into the junk drawer of my mind, just like a shooting star blazing across the blackness, and those keeping count don’t remember a difference between the fifth and the ninth shooting star, they’ve all been bright and beautiful.