Sunday, July 30, 2017

Big Sur and Esalen Open

Big Sur Opens (to humans)

Many parts of Big Sur and Esalen have recently opened to the public again. The only way in to the center of Big Sur is by car over Nacimiento-Fergusson Rd, or by taking a shuttle, hiking a trail around the bridge construction, and picking up the shuttle (or an electric bike) to get to your destination on the south side. The bridge that slid this winter has new steel I-beams arriving to span Pfeiffer Gulch. Soon enough the crowds of visitors will be returning. And, while it has been a challenge for many individuals, the community, and businesses — the quite peace that I once knew Big Sur to be was welcomed back during this time of limited human access.

The whole event brings to mind this story:
 "One day a student came to her master and asked how can you be happy with the reality of impermanence?” The master motioned to a glass at his side. “Do you see this glass?” he asked. “I love this glass. It holds water admirably. When the sun shines on it, it reflects the light beautifully. When I tap it, it has a lovely ring. Yet for me, this glass is already broken. When the wind knocks it over or my elbow knocks it off the shelf and it falls to the ground and shatters, I say, ‘Of course.’ But when I understand that this glass is already broken, every minute with it is precious.”

This story reminds me how change is a constant. I am especially aware of the transient nature of things in wilderness. This year has been about many changes and transitions, often different than what I wanted, sometimes exactly what I had hoped for. Highway 1 will open. Highway 1 will close again at some point in the future. Gravity works and these wild mountains are moving and will continue to move for some time.

I don't always, but when I do let myself be comfortable understanding the "glass is already broken" I feel in my heart and bones that every moment is precious.



P.S. I will be posting my new dates for spring and early summer of 2018 soon. In the meantime, I hope you can feel this wild moment as precious...