There’s a place I dream about from time to time, and I dreamt about it again last night. I used to think I had actually gone there once, when I was awake, but now I am not so sure. It’s possible that I did go there once, but also possible that I have dreamed about this place so many times that it is as real to me as Venice, or The Vine. It is kind of weird though, that I would dream so vividly about one place over and over in my life if I had never really been to a place like that.
It’s so beautiful there, it’s easy to see why it would make an impression on me, even if I have only been there in my dreams. To get there, you have to walk through a valley, and the only valley I can think of that resembles this valley is the valley at the ocean entance to Big Basin State Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I know that no one who reads this blog has ever been to this place – well, maybe one or two of you have – but let me just tell you there is a reason that California has a reputation for it’s beauty, and this valley, though not nearly well known as Yosemite or Death Valley or even a smattering of COUNTY parks in California, is one of the reasons. The coastal range meets the ocean here, and foothills covered with wildflowers flank you on each side as you walk east towards mountains covered with redwood and pine trees. There is no one there. I’ve had SEX there. Maybe that is why I like to make it part of my favorite dream locale.
Anyhow. Keep walking – in the dream, not Big Basin – and eventually you’ll get to a small mountain range that is more like the high desert than the coastal range. Keep walking (this is where I start to think this is only a dream, and never really happened in my waking life, because that’s a long way to walk without hitting a bar for some refreshments) and you get to a military base of sorts. That’s right, a military base – and this is where you think, well, maybe it IS real. Or maybe, there is NO WAY it is real.
At the military base you have to get on a bus and they take you to yet another mountain range, and from there you hike to the top and have a little picnic. At the top, you have a view of the other range, which is always tan and pink with the sun going down, and everything glows.
That’s it. That’s the place and I don’t know why I dream of it so much but I do and it is always the same. The only thing I can think of, is that somehow it has taken the shape of the hills behind where I grew up in El Granada, California. In the end, I guess it comes down to this: after several months I got this email from classmates.com that I had a message from someone I used to know, which got me on the website, and I started checking out all the other people on there. One of them was this guy I used to know when I was seventeen or so and living in a dark apartment with an alcoholic boyfriend and no electricity or hot water. Life was pretty dismal, so I used to go up in the hills with this guy Matt and talk. Our relationship was very easy and almost quiet, really. I’d never hung out with anyone I could just be silent with before. We were the same age, just two kids with some bad circumstances, and then we planned to run away and work at the World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tennesse. We never did anything but talk – we were both too scared of my boyfriend for that – but we wanted to.
We never made it to Knoxville but sometimes I think of what my life would be like now if I had, because at that age I was already a wanderer, even though it would take me several years to become myself. And I don’t even know if it is the memory of those hills, or Matt’s name on a website, or the approaching end of this speeding bullet that was 2006 that brought the dream on again. Maybe the dream brings me back to something I know, even if I don’t know what it’s from. Maybe, it’s been in my waking life all along, but I just haven’t gotten there yet.