I write this from the veranda of a monastery in Santa Barbara, California. I've been coming here for 30 years and they now have wireless! I am in the middle on a long vacation visiting friends and family, plus attending a conference at my seminary in Berkeley, and now staying at the retreat house of an Anglican order of monks who have been part of my life since 1974.
It is a very rich time. Connecting with the past, remembering what endures, putting some things to rest, touching base with some people and places that bring renewal, being simply surprised by how good life is. I have lived in Melbourne for almost 5 years now, and I love my life and work in Australia, but this trip is reminding me of the best of California, what I have had here, who I have known here. I've been connecting with friends who go a long time back, people who've seen me through big changes in old times, and it has been pure gift.
Yesterday a friend and I drove down the Big Sur road from Carmel in a rented - free upgrade - Red Mustang convertible, and if that doesn't bring out the archetypes, nothing will. So many memories came back, from that road and on so many journeys, of grace and good friends, the many detours in my life, with much forgiveness, numerous follies and endless love. This has been one of those times when I see how much I am sustained by love: with old friends, family, persons and places and from God. It is a real holiday. I will write more later.