Places can be like time machines.
First stop, L.A. No big deal, we’ve been there before and did the cheesy tours. But this time we were going to the Hollywood Bowl to see John Mayer and the Grateful Dead. As soon as we stepped out of the car, we traveled back in time to Woodstock. People in very colorful, psycodelic shirts, long flowing hair and groovy glasses walked about in a mild, happy trance. Once in the stadium plumes of “loud smells” as my son calls it, fired off. The bowl glowed in vibrant colors, and then, John Mayer walked on stage. I never knew he was so talented, and diverse a musician. And then, the crowd greeted the rest of the band whose many, many songs they grew up with. The couple in front of me euphorically lip syncing and snapping selfies while beach balls kept bouncing our way. The whole package was a step back in time.
Next stop, Yosemite. The ride up the mountain area was a step back in time as well. As we approached the final stretch we were greeted with a prairie setting of long blond grass swaying, a train rolling through and an innocent group of baby goats. We were delighted when spotting whimsical, squirrel like prairie dogs darting about. Being from Florida, I will admit, I felt uncomfortable making our way up to elevations of 6,000 to 7,000 feet on single laned roads. We got to our home base- a quaint town called Mariposa. Being of Spanish background, I know that means butterfly. This little town was established in 1850 and is dotted with small shops, restaurants and churches on hilly roads. We wanted to take advantage of the rest of the day and I was surprised that Yosemite was yet 45 minutes away, but as we went on I can see why. Again one laned roads along curvy mountain sides. The drive was well worth it. A step back in time, and no one can spoil it! Not even the hands that have spoiled so many natural settings because of progression and greed.
Our final night, we ate at the Gold coin back in Mariposa. A final treat, great live music from a one man band with a great selection of old cover songs. I savored the moment as a parent and traveler, or should I say “time traveler?”
This trip was a graduation trip with my son. ( I believe if the finances are there, every parent should take their son/daughter on a trip at this age. They are young adults, but when they graduate college or go on to what they choose, there’s no guarantee they will have the luxury of time or even desire to travel with you, as their life truly begins.) I wanted this trip to be memorable, and I believe it was. And as I shared a few pieces ago I wrote a poem in honor of my son, who has come into his own, writing and producing music. I envisioned different things for my kids but as the saying goes, ” You make plans and God laughs at you.”
“FLIGHT” by natalie giasullo
I knew a boy who grew up to be a man
Of quiet strength and peace, he had an angel in his hand.
He had a gift of a smile that made the stars cry,
And the spirit of a dove, he discovered he could fly.
He didn’t have to listen and get approval any longer,
Disappointments and losses would make the man stronger.
It’s my turn, you’ve had yours, I’m gonna fly to the Sun.
But I’m smarter than Icarus, I’m gonna LIVE to have fun!
You can’t melt my wings, I’m in control of my flight.
I’m not afraid to fail a few times, cause I’ll get it right.
Winter comes quickly, ask any old soul…
They wonder where their youth went, lost sight of the goal.
Lost track of the time, lost time of the track-
Everyone knows they’ll never get it back.
I’m gonna pack my guitar, and play Life a song.
I’m gonna enjoy my springtime, and Life will play along.
And when Winter comes, I’ll stare him square in the eye
And I’ll just strum my guitar,
and continue to F-L-Y!
Just me and my angel and my new life ahead
I’ll never wonder “what if” of the life that I led.
I left behind kindness, a smile and a song
I didn’t waste my gifts, I passed them along…