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Temecula Transition - Desert to Sea

Out of a deep slumber, from behind the heavy, rubber blackout curtains of El Rancho trucker motel, I awoke, this morning, like clockwork, 6:30 am.

Five months, 12 states, and 5,000 circuitous miles behind me, I am in the midst of another transition; no sweet sunrise beaming through lemony sheers, billowy in desert breeze, as at the Home-Sweet-Home Joshua Tree ranch house I just came from.

Out of my king bed I pop, energized, well-rested in my one room, pistachio green-walled hideaway, parting the drapes to reveal a view, through band of eucalyptus trees, of rush hour traffic streaming. A car alarm bleeps in the parking lot below.

Yesterday, as I inched closer to my West Coast destination, gripping the steering wheel, heart racing, the transition hit me, gradually, abruptly, squeezing between concrete barriers on I15, over-size load and RVs, LA Teslas and Harleys whizzing by me.

Just not ready, the inner voice whispered in my ear over Elton John, I'm Still Standin'.

Hallelujah, I listened, jerking the wheel right and exiting the highway at Old Town Temecula.

Like the astronauts touching down from outer space, re-entering earth’s atmosphere, I needed time to acclimatize, decompress.

Me, I’m emerging out of the mountains, out of the desert, out of two months of relative isolation, out of my inner space, descending down to sea level. And, somehow, this morning, as that thought sinks in, a pangy feeling of loss bubbles-up.

Tears burst out of my eyes, a tiny fountain, as I plop down on my El Rancho Motel king bed with its pilly poly-cotton blend sheets.

There, there, I tell myself, hand wrapped around a paper cup of shrink-wrapped coffee.

It’s okay. They are tears of joy, too. A slight smile spreads on my face at the thought of the vibrant city, reconnecting with humanity, with friends, with the sea, after

It reminds me of the Fitzgerald quote: “The true sign of intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing truths simultaneously.”

Or maybe I’m just becoming a cry baby on this healing journey, open to and touched by everything.

Isn’t that the point?

That, and learning, as a lifetime night owl, to become a morning person.

I unroll my yoga mat on the small carpeted space between the bed and bathroom wall and begin my daily flow, starting with sun salutes to get the blood moving. I feel myself smile, eyes closed, noticing my mind is almost clear of yesterday’s chaotic departure from Joshua Tree.

The scene flashes back like a movie in fast motion: the run-in with the Airbnb host management company over payment for the extra day, of course I was going to pay, accusations, egos, distrust, shame, the scene made even messier when, in my jangled state, racing to pack-up my nomad life, I dropped a full bottle of red wine, green glass shattering, blood red tempernillo splatting everywhere, me on my knees, with a sponge, slivers in my fingers, sobs of rage: Why is this happening to me?

In down dog, today, I exhale a long, hot lion’s breath.

Transitions are never easy, a wall of mountains, the San Jacintos, in this case, between one ending and a new beginning.

I am past them, now. All is well.

Soon I’ll come out of my El Rancho quarantine, packed up again, ready to speed to the sea.


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