In the hostel kitchen yesterday morning, a woman from Alameda talked about her road to California from Indiana, following her daughter.  A couple in the corner of the living room greeted a girl from China with the only language that she confidently shared: Smiles and gestures to the chair beside them.

It’s dark now, not yet six and the sun has not begun its radiant show.  We saw only a glimpse of its flash as it set yesterday.  The shimmer on the water awed us until a bank of fog rolled over the horizon and blocked our view.  But  the gulls still swooped through the air.  Several of us lingered in the evening chill, hoping that the last rays of the day would dispense the barrier and find their way to the water.

In a few minutes, I will step outside the front door of this building, the dorm house called Dolphin, at which I always stay when I journey to Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel.  In my wool slippers with their leather soles, I will venture onto the roadway.  I can’t see the sunrise from the west  kitchen window by which I now sit, so I must be outside, in the cold.  I don’t mind.  The earth makes its effortless turn. I shall be in attendance to watch this brief moment of the long journey.

Conversation ebbed and flowed in the house last evening.  A chance remark about religion brought the story of a woman writing her memoirs, along with an explanation of her blog on digital chaos.  I asked a gentleman how he fared, and stopped typing to listen to his genuine reply.  I offered coffee to the women traveling in a pack through their visit here; one of them accepted, and later held a door for me as I struggled to the room for sleep.  That’s how we roll, we hostel dwellers, we traveling restless souls.

The same group of women sat on the back porch talking about their lives, their loves, and the decisions which brought them to this instant in their lives.  I could have been another crow, inches from their table, for all they heeded  my presence.  I closed  my eyes and let their words flow over me.  I yearned to draw the lot of them into my embrace and assure them that their choices would be sound.  Just let it unfold as it will, I longed to advise them.  Don’t second-guess yourself.

The Indiana gal hugged me in the parking lot, then stood aside for her husband to do the same.  Isn’t serendipity a beautiful thing, she said.  Then they got into their truck and left, waving, smiling, watching me until they turned from the parking lot to Pigeon Point Road.

Indeed, I whispered in reply, to no one, to everyone, to the gulls in their breathtaking, beautiful, endless pattern of flight overhead.

It’s the seventeen day of the forty-fifth month of My Year Without Complaining.  Life continues.


Please click on the gallery to see the images in full.  Thank you.

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