Last Sunday after church in San Francisco the boyfriend and I drove over Golden Gate Bridge for a small vacation in northern California.
On our way to the house in Mendocino where we spent a couple of days for Thanksgiving in November we stopped to enjoy wine tasting – of course!
On Monday we brought one of the bottles we found while wine tasting with us for lunch at Glass Beach.
It was a beautiful day at a beautiful beach.
The boyfriend enjoyed his time with the Pacific Ocean.
On Tuesday we decided to go deeper into the woods. Our car looks so small next to the enormous red wood trees along the road to the coast.
We went for a three hour hike in Mendocino woodlands where I found such big elements of wild nature as this one.
After our hike we opted for a modification of our diet and had dinner at a pub in Mendocino [the town] together with beer instead of wine.
On Wednesday it was time to hit the highway back to Berkeley once again…
Even though I’m excited about returning work at the university and especially about the Russian class I’m going to teach – the spring semester starts on Tuesday here at Berkeley – I understand now that the road back is going to be just as long as the road away was for me. Last year was one of the most difficult so far for me and I know that it is going to take a lot of time for me to regain my former strength, both personally and academically. I’m still getting used to life without my father. I’ve made some small steps in the right direction, however; I went to the gym for the first time in almost two months on Thursday and I felt good about that. I’m slowly adjusting myself to the work mode. I know it is not going to be easy – for every day still feels like a small battle to get on the right track and settle my thoughts – but I have too many things in my life to be thankful for to let myself get lost again. After all, the small yet important things in life are what make life worth living. Yesterday I had an experience that I will treasure for a long time as a mark for how far I’ve come during my years in California; yesterday an old friend of mine reached out to me in a time of desperation and I decided to let the past remain the past but answer his letter to me through a phone call. It was not an easy thing for me to do because this person used to mean so much to me and he is such an old friend of mine – I met him in Siberia when I was only nineteen years old and we corresponded through mail for several years after that – I even visited him in the United States twice. But by making that call to him in his time of need I wasn’t coming back to the person I was two and a half years ago; then I made the difficult choice of ending our friendship for reasons I cannot write about here and I’ve never gone back on that decision. But it was nice to talk to him and to remind him that I haven’t forgotten all the ways in which he was there for me when I needed him the most. Sometimes old friends – when you hear their voice and realize that everything has changed since the last time you spoke but that doesn’t mean that you cannot respect what once was – can remind you both of who you were and of who you are now. I will treasure that conversation just as much as I treasure the life I have now. The life I have now is one in which he cannot be an active part but that doesn’t mean I am not one of those people who will not respond to an important message.
I’m grateful for that and I’m grateful for those lovely days spent in Mendocino.