Sitting on the bus from San Jose to Santa Cruz, and after an 8 hour megabus ride, I (for some reason) was ecstatic and found myself scribbling on a piece of paper the following:
“I am in love with America. Nothing is too much trouble for people, people react with joy here, no-one rushes you on buses when you’re fumbling for change. People have more time for strangers. The South American vibe has infiltrated this place and things are fun! People are so polite and respectful and they look at you in the eye. They hug and it feels safe. I feel free to be happy – people are not intimidated. The nature is shining, the air is warm the sun is bright and people sell fruit by the side of the road….”
I drifted off into a contented silence looking out of the window at California at it’s best. It was sunny, the palm trees were hazy light green yellow in the light, the evening was drawing in, and I was about to return to Santa Cruz, one of my favorite places on Earth.
When I got there I was greeted by Donna Wolper who took me straight to a taco place in a downtown bar and we sipped corona with lime and feasted amongst the good vibes. I heard more Spanish than English and it made my heart sing and crave for South America. I knew I was going to love this experience just from the moment we met. It was Thursday night and the bars were already heaving, ready for the weekend.
Donna is a kind, caring and nurturing person, a deeply modest and incredibly gifted writer, a wise woman and wonderful mentor. She is extraordinary actually; a woman who’s passion for life and experience (and love for the sun) and travel took her on an incredible journey that led her to discover a tiny Mexican fishing village with no roads (only accessible by boat). This is where all this womb magic and deep healing wisdom began.
Donna, who lived in Quebec for most of the year started to visit this village in Mexico each year to escape the harsh winter and she soon integrated herself and her children into Mexican life. She made friends with local medicine men and women, schooled her children with the locals and lived out her winters in this peaceful friendly village with her new ‘family’ away from light pollution, walking the blissful beaches at night, listening to the moon. She was totally in touch with natural cycles peacefully living her life in rhythm, in flow.
The amazing thing about Donna’s work is that literally she was ‘spoken to’. As she describes finding this special village in Mexico then coming back again and again with her children (home-schooling all the way) each year, another chapter of what was to finally become her book made itself known to her. Its like she was channeling some kind of wisdom and each time another piece ‘happened’ to her. All this happened over 23 years ago and her book is now published and is on sale at several bookstores in the USA along with Amazon. Have a look at her website for more information.
Donna’s story continued when she decided she would like to rent a place in Santa Cruz fairly close to her family, and she has been here for a while now offering moontime counseling and workshops and menarche celebration counseling. She is also doing a Moontime Harmony Retreat in February 2017 back to that fishing village… click here for more information!
I am lucky enough to have a copy of The Moontime Harmony Workbook and found it an incredible read, and a book I am looking forward to working through through my own menstrual journey.
Donna’s house-mates were also wonderful kind and generous enough to let me sleep on their couch in a spacious and comfortable living room with a huge front window overlooking other beautiful big Santa Cruz homes in their cul-de-sac. The back garden at Donna’s place is kept beautifully with flowers and herbs, delicate scents and color and light. An oasis of sorts. The first day I arrived I was tired, and spent my morning among the flowers. I rose early and the quality of light was magnificent on the leaves and petals.
Over our two days together we discovered and shared much about our work, walked amongst the giant trees of the Redwood forests, took the trolley (a cool old-fashioned looking shuttle bus) to the beach with it’s holiday vibes, strolled the boardwalk of the sea-front Santa Cruz with it’s antique (and still running) 1920’s timber rollercoaster and art deco buildings of a time gone by.
We also celebrated Santa Cruz downtown for what it is now – a humming buzzing town with musicians on the street from classical mini orchestras to full on rock bands and hippy folk strumming jamming and playing bongos. ‘Pizza my heart’ restaurant, art deco cinemas, Jamba Juice, a fast food Indian place, noodles, you can have it all….
It was a trip down memory lane for me, as my buddy Jane and I travelled here when we were fresh faced and goofy 15 years ago. We got ‘stuck’ in S.C in our delicious routine of lazing in the day on the beach getting tanned, watching the surfers on the incredible break there (surfing came to Santa Cruz from Hawaii and there’s a whole museum about it in Santa Cruz lighthouse), rooting round the thrift/Salvation army shop for comfy clothes, strolling down the street for an afternoon Jamba Juice before drinking pints with Eddy and Blobby in the Poet and Patriot (still there, still an old man Irish pub with darts in the back room – love it!) We would then stumble back to the Youth Hostel, wake around ten, and the next day the whole thing would happen over again. Like a Californian fantasy groundhog day.
This time, after a beer with Donna on Friday night I even got to pop in on Blobby; our old friend and Jazz pianist at the ‘grog shop’ where he was working that night. It was quite amazing and a short and sweet blast from the past!
All good things come to an end and Donna was heading out of town to visit her son and daughter in downtown San Francisco the next morning. She kindly offered me a lift and we left the happy mellow buzz of Santa Cruz, headed out on highway one and wound in and out of the coves and beautiful views of cliffs and rocky sandy beaches. The sky was blue and it was a gorgeous drive. Our entry into San Francisco was just as stunning. The Haight area of town where Donna’s daughter lived was utterly gorgeous with houses on the street all painted different colors and designed totally differently from each other. I fell in love with this wonky city and headed out to the metro where I was to meet with Kyle and several rad menstrual activists of the Bay…
I Love S.C!