On the road by myself this morning to Calistoga I pulled off of 101 figuring I could have a little Olompali State Park lookaround. So I’m on San Antonio road, parallel to the highway, and passed a young person with a backpack…. thought a second, stopped & stuck my head out the window. WANT A RIDE! I screeched out the window after a quick assessment. The young person ran to catch up looking absolutely gobsmacked and hopped in. Rather than drag them to the park I figured we were on the back road to Petaluma (where they said they were headed). After some consultation of maps (young Tad was walking to Bodega Bay) I offered to take them to Santa Rosa where they could take 12 to the coast. Offer accepted!
Our mysterious encounter continued and I hoped my tacky dance music was acceptable (“Hashtag this you basic bitch!” was blasting, which felt wrong for my new friend somehow.) I mentioned the land and the Mushroom Farm as a conversational hook to no avail (My first guess of eco-farm-hippie was wrong.) An observation on some sort of Path (terminology that I don’t remember) was made. “So… Buddhist? Hindu? Krishna?” Yes to Krishna! That explains the cute lil dots and stripes of white face paint. “I’ve always liked the story of Krishna stealing the butter and his mom telling him to open his mouth and she looks in his mouth and instead of the stolen butter there is the whole world and the whole universe!!! Enthusiastic agreement from Tad. When you are first on the path, you’re like a child seeing the forest from a child’s perspective! Then, the next stage, you’re like a mother holding the child in her lap, in the forest (on the path?) and you have to be both mother and child, to yourself! Enthusiastic agreement from me. Priest and poet journeying together! We entered historic Petaluma.
Somewhere in downtown Petaluma they offered the thought that I should see Scott Pilgrim (movie, full title escapes me) which I had not. “Is that.. uh is that by the guy who did Slacker?” No. But Tad loves that movie. I was like Tad, my friend, I lived that movie and knew everyone in it! Turns out Tad was a street kid in Austin for some time. We high fived for love of Austin at a streetlight. How about the movie Waking Life? Yes! Tad loves it! I think it is a little sad but beautiful. Why sad? Because, I take it to be all a dreamlike mind journey in the moment between a car crash and death (feeling a little weird to say this to my hitchhiker as I, a stranger, drive my FMINIST-mobile.) “I’ll have to watch it again! I didn’t notice that!” Tad had left the hari krishna festival in Fresno (to go their own way still a personal follower of krishna) and it was an uneasy path and difficult but worth it.
When I said I love trains, they quoted Buckminster Fuller on public transit. Hahahah, lovely. I explained about 4D Timelock and the towers and airships. Also I was offered a Bob Dylan quote (always stick your tongue out at babies) and something about the Grateful Dead.
This young puppy, voice barely breaking, utterly charmed me. I dropped them off by the side of the access road to highway 12 in Santa Rosa, offered $20 bucks “because you’re a holy pilgrim, and to get some food and water!” (I thought of giving more but did not want it to be weird.)
We are now Facebook friends. An auspicious start to my mini-vacation at the hot springs. Wow I do love life quite a lot. A small human connection. All of these moments should be valued and held close to our hearts.