Nothing woke me this morning. I just happened to open my eyes, look up at the windows and the blue sky thru the trees. "Ahh", stretch and linger, no hurry. By the time I pop out of bed like a jack in the box, my new digital watch says that it is 10:30 AM. It is so nice to wake up in silence. The winery has the musty smell of wine, the coolness of a fridge and the stillness of a monastery.
Shut off lights, check various spaces, turn off more lights, talk to a few guests... it's a living, a wave that keeps breaking, a little giving a little taking.
Finally, I enter the yoga studio and behold, it is empty. All the windows are open to air it out after the just-finished class. The radio gives me random music and then the stretching begins. At the end of the 5 Tibetans, it hits me: Vista Yurt needs a fan. Bodywork is happening there and it becomes a solar oven. Call around, Sonny: no answer, leave a message, Rachey: no answer, no message. Check the t-houses: first one, the fan is on, the next one, they are not using it. Run up the hill with the fan, drop it in the doorway, run back to the yoga studio and ssstttrrrrettcchhh. Then, some didj. Next, some tai chi.
Now, it is time for lunch. I munch down soup with dark steamed chewy greens and top it off with some home made Kip chocolate. Its made from raw coco beans, agave syrup, coconut butter, vanilla beans and something spicey.
Walk the house, check rooms, check bathrooms, check TP, check for towels on the antique furniture. Everthing is under control. I walk up the back trail of pea gravel to the winery and open William Gibson's latest book: "Pattern Recognition". I read the first two chapters and then snooze. I wake up and shave my face and head smooth as polished steal. I shave off black hairs, red hairs and some grey hairs around my chin. I shave off 10 years. By monday, 2 years will grow back.
It is time to run around the track at Nordoff again. The CBR 900 waits near the gate gleaming polished aluminum and promising speed, lightening in a bottle, 900 sleeping lions. I let the bike coast down the driveway, through the gate, no engine noise, just the sound of friction: from rubber wheels rolling on asphalt and the motorcycle cutting thru air like a fire blade. I slow down, turn the ignition on, pull in the clutch with left hand, shift into second with left foot, release the clutch and the engine comes alive, the 900 lions wake up.
The air polishes my skin and coaxes me to grin. 5 min later, I pull into Nordoff's giant parking lot. Don't turn off the engine, let it idle for 5 min while stretching hams, quads and calves. Time is now. Turn it off, leave keys in ignition, phone in trunk. Gate to the track is locked, pastic orange fencing corrales various areas in the infield and the outfield but the track is not obstucted. I hop over the fence and jog up the straight-away and then back to the starting line. Set watch to stop watch mode and... ready... set... go!
My starting pace is slower today. Last time's first split: 75 seconds - too ambitious. This time my first split is about 80 seconds. Lap 2 is not as debilitating but still tough. I manage to keep the pace. The third lap is more challenging. My upper lungs feel like they are tight, like leather straps are being tightened, like double bruises. I hear the sound of labored breathing. My breathing. But still, I push on, I must improve on my time. Last lap, look at watch, on pace, pick it up, go, go go go. Last turn approaches, check time, its gonna be close. Cross the line, press stop. Keep walking, look at watch: 5:43. Not too bad. Shaved off 4 seconds from last time. Temperature is around 85 degrees. I know I can still take more time off. At least 10 seconds. This is getting interesting.
The bike starts. Horray! We zip across the road, the air cools my body and soon I pull into the estate. Hop in the jacuzzi and soak. Instant recovery. Then, I am checking spaces for the usual and then I am in the kitchen. To Kip: "Need any help?"
"No, I think I am good." About 20 sec pass. "Ohh, look what time it is. You know, I think I could use some help."
"Cool, I'm always happy to contribute." So the next hour and a half or so, Ian an I cut up Romaine for the salad. Then my own personal crunch time arrives. Run around the land, turn on lights around Amrita Yurt, inside the house, outside the house, for the driveway, for the path to the yoga studio, pool bathroom lights, yoga studio lights and then light and place candles on the tables for dinner. Still not done yet, grab 2 bottles of wine and open them. Now you can finally eat. Whooey!
The meal is fantastic, vegan and mostly raw. There's quinoa, a huge salad and a scrumtious pesto. Everyone is digging the vino. They're clammoring for more. Every few minutes. "Is there anymore wine?" "Are you going to open another bottle?" This is Devin's department actually. Me, I'm just trying to eat. To chew my food enough to get the necessary amount of enzymes in my food. How the heck am I supposed to digest all this? Oh well, stop eating. Run down to the basement, grab 2 more bottles, pull out the corks. Now, I can kick back and finish the meal, this work of art, this reward for my labors, cutting Romaine, tomatos, my running around, my ssssttrrettcchhhingg, my muscles, shaving off seconds, years and then growing it back.
After dinner we head down to the yoga studio. I walk in and Holla asks for help - 2 speakers are not working. I get them going. The sound volume is too low. I fix that problem. Then, I am dancing in my crazy clothes: green felt pants, tight black shirt, black harry over jacket/garment thing. Pure rock n roll, baby. Then its outside. People are in the pool, naked, screaming. Now I am the noise police. "Please, no screaming, no diving board, sorry, thanks." They all comply. I went out in the first place to check the jacuzzi. Turns out some one has been messing with it. This is the second time today. Oh well. 20 minutes later, it is pretty hot again and a bunch of us are in there soaking, talking, relaxing.
I watch someone running to the diving board. "No diving board!" I say again "no diving board!" Now they are on it and running "No diving board!" They jump in and the diving board sounds like a hammer. 3 minutes later Bill walks thru the gate into the pool area. A shooting star scrapes the night sky just above his head. Light and I both witness this.
Bill comes over and says how he heard the diving board. I apologize. He leaves, back to the guest house. I remain, in charge, the sober one, the foot brake of the yoga party bus that is bigger than a football field.