here and told us about it with so much enthusiasm that we, being in our hedonistic phase, called and made reservations for 3 nights in September, 2004. When the time came to depart, the trip north brought much pleasure as we paused halfway to visit family and friends and then continued north on the winding Highway 1 with its spectacular views of the California coast.
Upon arrival, we were assigned to Rose Cottage. The rustic exterior
belied what lay within. We opened the door to find a living room with a Franklin wood burning stove, Persian rug, comfy sofa and chair. The tiny kitchen had standing room only for one adult and we ascended the 3 steps to a sleeping area with a queen-size bed.
The bathroom was outfitted with a deep, deep tub, the likes of which we'd never seen. I think it was designed for youthful, limber individuals. We bathed in awe with neither grace nor ease.
The cabin was situated in a meadow populated by friendly, wild turkeys and occasionally we spotted deer. At a distance we could see the Pacific Ocean. There was a fine restaurant on the premises. Everywhere we looked, there were artistic touches added to the beautiful landscape.
We were experiencing perfection, except...................................... we were out of sorts with each other. I can't remember now what the quarrel was about, but I recall knowing full well at the time that we were spoiling our holiday; but neither one of us seemed capable of rising above the small-minded altercation.
Later, into my possession came a greeting card that I'll never send. The message is worth keeping as a reminder for the future. In the words of Ralph Emerson:
"For every minute you are angry you lose 60 seconds of happiness."
We had robbed ourselves of 3 days of happiness by allowing personal turbulence within such supreme tranquility. Near the end of our extremely silent 3 day sojourn, I took my journal and paintbox out onto the deck and recorded the placid view, so I could remember it all.
Of this I am relatively sure; every journey has its own individual character, but it doesn't alleviate the responsibility of bringing our best selves to the experience. Most of our travels have been filled with happy discoveries and good humor, but every once in a while there's a surprise in store. The Gualala cottage episode was one.