On this Earth Day of my pilgrimage for the Earth I find myself a guest in a multi-million dollar house. It is a stunning, architectural dream of a house backed up against a hillside studded with indigenous Monterey Pines and coastal oaks and some planted redwoods and exotic maples. The house opens up to the woods by way of towering glass walls, supported by steel girders and solid Douglas Fir posts the size of trees. The doors are oversized, solid fir also, the grain perfectly unblemished and obviously coming from only the heart of the tree. The floor is solid mahogany and must contain thousands of board feet of the rare, endangered species of wood. You can feel it’s hardness as you walk, barefoot or slippered on its dark, smooth surface. The house is heated by radiant heat coming up through this floor that I’m at once awed and stunned by.
Trees were the inspiration for this pilgrimage, as you may or may not know. Specifically it was the dying pine trees of the Sierra Mountains that shocked me into action, or rather, inaction. I simply couldn’t do business as usual any longer believing as I do that we humans and our ever-increasing activities are the cause of the terrible drought which led to the demise of so many beautiful trees. I find it rather ironic and interesting that I am enjoying the comfort and beauty of this exceptional house while on my unconventional pilgrimage for the Earth.
I have lived my life as a conservationist of sorts, trying to keep my carbon and other footprints relatively small. Those who are unburdened by such concerns for the planet enjoy luxuries that I could not. Who is the wiser or better one? I am ceasing to ask myself such a question. I can no longer be the arbiter of anyone else’s conduct but my own. I don’t want to be a judge, nor am I qualified to be one. It’s extremely doubtful that I could ever obtain such privileges as I am enjoying here even if I wanted to. On this journey I am simply noticing, observing, and watching for signs of my next right steps.
Today is Earth Day. I am going to get my bicycle from storage and some panniers and give cycling a try. In my late teens I cycled over a thousand miles in England, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany, camping and staying in an occasional bed and breakfast. My friend and I slept in a bug infested barn in Belgium one night, and got taken in by an older bachelor in the county of Dorset on another occasion (a highlight.) Forty years later, will I be able to do this again? I’m humbled by my experience on this journey so far, that’s for sure, so I will refrain from making any claims for the future.
In case you don’t know, Gina Puccinelli and Krystle Dawn Truncale are leading a yoga experience at Window on the Bay in Monterey today, for Earth Day, from 2-4. I will chime in, too. Please come if you can. It would be great to see you. ♥️ ??