Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mesquite Hugger takes you on a tiny vacation

A little over a year ago, I had a pretty magical day.

I was attending a conference in San Jose, California. I had an afternoon free and would fly out the next day. I rented a small car headed south to Monterey.

If ever there has been a worldly cross of Mecca and Disneyland for me, it is that place.

I could write pages and pages about the Monterey Bay Aquarium, about the sea otters and seals swimming in the clear water, about the two greyhounds and their people playing in the surf, about the gem shop with the massive friendly dog and the gracious shop owner who helped me pick out a gift for my wife. But none of that stuff is the reason I was there.

Every other year, I read Steinbeck's Cannery Row. And I was there to visit the real Cannery Row. I saw Doc's lab and I saw rusty old boilers. I saw an Ed Ricketts statue.  I stood in the ocean and turned rocks overs to see the creatures that Doc collected for a living. I saw the old canneries and I walked down a street that I have loved for decades.

The drudgery of housework, bills, and malicious coaches, fans, and referees was all gone. I felt euphoric, and I still occasionally say a prayer of thanks for those few hours a year ago.

To celebrate John Steinbeck's 112th birthday, here is a link to a passage from that book.

The Boy and the Chinaman

May words occasionally take you to an immensely better place.