The Graciousness of its Coming
There’s a feeling I get when I look to the west
And my Spirit is crying for leaving.
In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees
And the voices of those who stand looking.
Ooh, it makes me Wonder.
Ooh it really makes me wonder.
Stairway to Heaven
The roads were winding and not clearly marked and it took a little while to find Rachel’s home. It was right on the beach and was one of the larger places in the compound . Surrounded by a white stucco wall of less than modest height, the house was a split level, painted a pale blue with elegant flower beds running parallel and along the walkway and a small portico over the double front doors. I pulled the car over, parked, got out, stretched and thought about having another cigarette as I lingered for a minute. Off in the distance was Malibu pier and beyond that the shoreline reaching in a long thin crescent all the way down to Santa Monica and the barest hint of an edge of what was beyond. The sea was choppy from the off shore wind and it was warm outside and even this close to the water the air still felt dry. The sea birds were having a hard time trying figure out what was going on as they struggled with the contrary wind and off behind me I could barely hear the race of traffic along the Coast Highway. I decided against the cigarette, braced my shoulders, stood up straight , took a deep breath, opened the little wrought iron gate and strolled up the walkway.
I pressed the doorbell and then stood and waited for a while and started having second thoughts about that cigarette when the door opened. There stood a rather attractive young woman with a very fashionable haircut, good clothes, and a nice figure with a certain grace in the way she stood. “Are you Stefan?” she asked. “Yes,” I responded. The sweet young woman smiled, “She’s been waiting for you. Please, come in and she will be right with you.”
I stood in small hallway with pink marble floors and soft white walls covered with tasteful porcelain miniatures on thin glass shelves. It was a lovely place, I could sense immediately her presence; of her touch, her taste, her quiet elegance. And as I was musing on how fitting a place it seemed to be for her, I saw her turn the corner, stop at the doorway, stretch an arm up and leaning against the curving arch she stood for a minute looking at me.
She was dressed in black slacks, a plain white blouse, her beautiful black hair pulled back up into a bun, a simple gold necklace adorned her neck and through the somewhat puffy, drawn and definitely tired but beautiful deep dark eyes I saw a smile. Every woman has a multitude of faces, particular looks and expressions, some deliberate, most unconscious, that can reveal her emotions, her thoughts, her inward musings and I know you can spend a lifetime with a woman and never see them all. But you would always know it was the same woman, the same beautiful face, the one that had summoned you from some deep place within to some other deep place of recognition. I know my heart leapt for a minute and then she drew near and held out both her hands towards me. I reached back the same way, we touched for an instant, and then she rushed closed and embraced me and placed her head in the cradle of my shoulder. I heard her softly say, “I’m so glad you came. I’m so glad to see you.”
We lingered there in the hallway, saying nothing and then, slowly, gently, she disengaged from our embrace. Holding my arm softly with one hand she led me into the living room. “Come. Let’s sit for a while.” And we slowly made our way, and she motioned for me to sit in a large cushioned chair. “Please, get comfortable. Would you like something to drink?”
“Just some iced water would be fine, thank you.”
She smiled and said “Just a minute, I’ll get it for you.’
I just smiled back and nodded my head. She went off into another large hallway and left me in a spacious living room with a large plate glass sliding door that had a view of the beach and the ocean beyond. I wandered over to it and gazed out at the blue sea and a few fishing boats struggling in the wind and rough water. Off to the left, about a half mile or so, was the Malibu Pier and to the right, the hazy smoke ridden sky partially masking a blazing red sun drifting down into the horizon. I was thinking about something, but I’m not quite sure what. Maybe I wasn’t thinking. Maybe it was just a feeling. Maybe it was nothing at all. It was odd; I found myself calm and quite at ease, just gazing out at the ocean waiting for an old friend to bring me a glass of iced water. I had been anticipating this for the better part of three days and this journey here had been a major source of disruption; the cause of a lot of frantic activity at every level; subliminal, subconscious. conscious, emotional, spiritual and otherwise. And yet when the moment came, it was just a quiet whisper. A small, still voice, on a tranquil afternoon.