Saturday, August 14, 2010

Due to the lack of wind at this time of year pretty much every day is a “kayak day”. Whether I plan it or not, if I wake up in the morning and The Sea is flat, I cannot resist taking off in my kayak.

Some years ago a very dear friend, Rebecca Kress, gave me a CD called Aquaria. The leading track has a woman’s voice chanting, “I am Aquaria, I am The Sea, Come to me”. The Sea has become my “Muse” and it doesn’t surprise me at all seeing as my country of birth, Estonia (and 8000 years of genetics), is surrounded on two sides by The Baltic Sea, never mind that my mother’s people came from The Island of Saaremaa off the coast of Estonia (recorded by Tacitus, Caesar’s historian, as an island of witches and worshippers of “Nature Spirits” and best to be left alone….which he did). Therefore, it is not surprising that though I am as genetically Viking as one could be I am perfectly at home here in Baja on the edge of The Sea….an Island really (Baja California is essentially a 1000 mile long island with only a small attachment to the mainland on the Northern Border, can’t explain the heat part).

My Homeland

The great island of Baja California

Two recent kayak trips are worth mentioning. On the 8th I went out first thing in the morning, usually just about sun up, and when I reached The WZ I settled in for a quiet wait to see what might show up. After a bit I was moved to acknowledge by words and up-raised hands, Father Sky, Mother Earth, Grandfather Sun and Grandmother Ocean. I then closed my eyes and let their energy infuse my body and soul. It felt so very good and when I opened my eyes, there right next to me was a seabird I had not seen before. Here is a picture of it, not mine; I never carry my good camera in the kayak.

My first Shearwater encounter
He hung around for a while, we talked and then I heard the distinctive blow of Dolphins. Spotting them I was able to reach the “back of the pack” and just keep up with them for about ½ mile before tiring. No chance for getting in with them but always nice to be surrounded by Dolphin Energy, eh?

A couple of days later I made it out to The WZ before sunrise and was treated to a most beautiful color show. The photo below was taken of me some years ago on a similar morning so I’m throwing it in.

We had a very light rain that night and during the early morning Banditos hit some of the neighbors. They are not violent (the banditos), they strike at Gringo homes that they know are vacant (at this time of year I am pretty much the only resident Gringo in El Cardonal) and take cars, ATVs and boats. I of course have nothing to fear because my place does not look all that profitable for a rip off and my continual presence in the neighborhood makes hitting my friend’s homes nearby risky. I am also often seen walking about with my bow or a rifle looking for feral cats so there is that element, no?

I have discovered to my delight the bittersweet taste of the fruit of The Ciruelo (Wild Plum) tree. I have three natural trees in my yard and one in particular gives off some great fruit.

These are about 3/4" wide by 1" in height

I do have some competitors for the fruit however. The two critters below, plus The Cactus Wrens are feasting on the fruit too.

This is a Verdin

As is this

One scruffy Scrub Jay, but an old friend!

In the early 70’s I made my way “back to the land” via a position at the then new Mendocino College (I started as there first full time Biology/Chemistry Instructor in 1972/3). It had not really been planned to move to the country but circumstances made it imperative (or as I thought at the time). At any rate I moved into the hills outside of Potter Valley and became part of The Counter Culture of Mendocino County. In many ways it was an idyllic life. Not that we didn’t work, we all probably worked harder than we had ever known before (living “on the land” is not as easy as one may think) but we made a great many extraordinary friendships and developed a sense of community. Our children grew up in a large extended family and were nurtured by it. I mention this now because I received this photo from my daughter Kersti the other day, that’s her on the left, one of her dearest friends, Michelle, on the right.

This was taken just the other week while Michelle was visiting her mom in Healdsburg and Kersti dropped by. They have known each other for 35 years and when I saw the picture I was reminded of those incredible days in the mountains around Potter Valley (Michelle lived just over the ridge) and the summer’s delight of swimming in The Eel River every day. These two were “children” of that era and one can see in their faces the strength, intelligence and love they manifest now as women.

These last pictures I am showing you are of Kersti’s mother in the 8th grade when I fell in love with her and told her that one day she would be my wife. 8 years later that’s exactly what happened, and 5 years after that Kersti was born…a gift from The Great Mystery. The other is self explanatory.

Macy Loraine Ennis, 8th grade, 1956

Macy and our daughter Kersti, April, 1969

1 comment:

  1. Hey Urmas! Wow, I just revisited your blog (and finally got around to subscribing) and it's a pleasure to read... brings back such amazing memories of my time there! I'm glad to see that the beauty and wonder of that amazing place is not lost on you now that you're there full time :) Keep fighting the good fight, and tell the whales and all the critters "hello" for me!
    much love