I corralled 2 of my closest friends (Tanya and Caitanya - I love you guys!) into the car and headed up to Arcata for the holiday weekend to visit the glorious Artemisia Butterfly and her dazzling son, Bodhi Shine. I could not have asked the universe for kinder, more generous hosts. They opened up their home full of swinging chairs, hammocks and plants to us and treated us like family. Artemisia is partly-raw, so she let me use her Vitamix to whip up treats all weekend (I brought a bag stocked with nuts, maca and tons of produce so I could survive on deliciousness), and she even let me use some of her cacao nibs, vanilla and berries to add to everything. What a heavenly time we had in the kitchen all weekend!
Artemisia is a truly giving person who a mutual friend insisted I meet, and I am ever so glad I listened. We had so many great conversations about life, love, friends, health, music, art, nature and well, everything. She is a single mom raising her son to be completely open to life and all that it brings. It was amazing seeing how she teaches him to communicate, and act with love, and to be conscious of his actions at such a young age. I know who to turn to when I eventually am ready for kids, though that will be quite some time from now. :) She's a true inspiration, as is Bodhi, a beautiful result of love, patience, knowledge and fun.
While we were in town, we got to check out the local food co-op and soaked in the hot tubs one night at Cafe Mokka, which was beautiful to behold at night with everything enshrouded in the Pacific Mist. I highly recommend checking it out if you're ever in Arcata.
Besides visiting the people up here, the other main reason for my visit was the ginourmous redwood trees that always make me so happy and full of love. We spent hours hiking amongst them, climbing inside them, crawling up the sides of them, walking through them, and delighting at the large varieties of fungi everywhere. Me in the redwoods is like a little kid in the candy store. I want to hug them all, touch every piece of moss, lick dewdrops, and never leave. I am going to miss this Northern California coast that has been my home for these last 3 years. I know I am not leaving for that long, and am going to enjoy my journey for the rest of 2009, but I am already starting to feel a bit homesick for this place that has been part of such amazing life transformations and growth, and provided me with so much love, happiness and connection to the source. My life here has been so beautiful, and there is nothing I would change about it, yet I know I need to explore another continent for a little while. Travel is in my blood, and the call never goes silent, so it's best to carry my life on my back like a turtle and follow it for awhile until it leads me back "home" again.