“Out of the Woods West Coast Book Tour- Part 1”
What a wondrous two week book tour trek up the northern half of the west coast I experienced! “Out of the Woods, Healing Lyme Disease- Body, Mind & Spirit” opened the door, introducing me to some stunningly beautiful locations, as well as aligning me with equally beautiful people. The entire trip blessedly went smoothly, even in a Mercury retrograde.
Departing from Boston’s Logan Airport on a soft March morning, butterflies swarmed in my stomach, nervous anticipation the entire week prior. Into the sky I soared, writing my assorted Lyme lectures as we traversed the broad continent. For a formerly bedridden Lymie, who’d lost a career, a marriage, my health and self-confidence, this solo venture involved huge risk and certainly, steady stamina. Could I really do this? I’d been wondering for some time. Even a robust author would be daunted by six events in eight days.
But, like my quest to summit a mountain peak or to reclaim my health when so utterly collapsed for years, I felt my willpower push me forward. After all, I wanted to introduce California and Washington to “Out of the Woods” and to look into the eyes of those who suffered as I had, with reassurance for recovery.
San Francisco greeted me, a nippy wind off the bay, with luscious fruit trees in bloom and blue skies snappy bright. Staying with long-lost friends, I felt cozy and safe, their family life more familiar than a hotel room, a warm touchstone for me, having lived such a simple life for over two decades now.
The Book Shop in Hayward, East Bay was my first venue. A small cluster attended, but what great connections we shared. Two women had suffered for 25 years with misdiagnosed Lyme, precious years stripped from them.
I must say I loved Berkeley! What a great energy there tucked against the hills; quaint homes, eclectic shops, vivid Bird of Paradise flowers and that classic hotel, the Claremont sitting sentinel in backdrop. I’d go back in a heartbeat.
Friday March 23rd, NOE Integrative Health hosted me, a talented group of Homeopaths. I was so pleased to bring firsthand Lyme information to them, helping to strengthen their Lyme treatment repertoire and build a base of Lyme literate homeopaths. Our holistic discipline offers supportive relief and help to the Lyme afflicted. It’s been a cornerstone to my recovery. Now, I’m interfacing with our national council to compile a list of Lyme literate homeopaths nationwide.
Meanwhile the city buzzed in harmony on a spring night.
San Francisco holds some sort of great natural earth feng-shui. Every time I’ve visited this busy yet charming city, I’ve had a superb time. The enormous Pacific at its threshold, the sleepy hills swaddled in Avalon-like fog, the blend of architecture, commerce, arts and history all simmer together like a finely spiced paella. This city is, crowded, yet tempered; sprawling, yet contained; ethnically diverse, yet congruent. My sense is the large bay and ocean, and massive open sky balance the hubbub and congestion in a way NYC or LA can only envy.
The cherry on top was an overnight with a college friend in Tiburon, a peninsula of stunning natural beauty, trimmed with a lacing of elegant homes and a yachting life. Wow! I stood at the quay staring at San Francisco glimmering like Oz in the distance, the massive Golden Gate Bridge a ribbon of welcome to my right. For a country girl, swaddled back home in hillsides of pines, this vista sent shivers up my spine.
Saturday morning the floodgates opened, torrential rain pounding on my rental car windshield. Another wave of nervousness crescendoed within, for now I had to drive north alone on a highway. To most of you this sounds nonsensical, but from my perspective I was undertaking a large endeavor. Having been so sick for long years on end, I’d been unable to drive even locally, on country lanes, too week and dizzy. Last year was the first time I’d driven on a highway in seven years; I white-knuckled it, stopping each hour to gather my wits and ease the adrenaline. Though rattled, it was an important milestone in my recovery- tackling the once-familiar interstate.
Now, a new challenge awaited: driving 100% alone, in an unfamiliar rental car, on unknown roads, in teeming rain. I tapped Santa Rosa city center into my smartphone GPS and off “we” went, the direction guide voice as my companion. Surprisingly, I eased off the exit an hour later, nonplussed and somehow feeling kinda liberated, like I was back in my 20’s- adventurous and confident, ready for anything! Wow! I was growing in new ways, I sensed.
I lunched with Courtney Arnold, my most talented editor for “Out of the Woods.” Eighteen months after our first meeting, she and I are now entwined in the elegant magic of words, the grueling glare of deadlines and blessedly, in the joy of a job well done, “Out of the Woods” securing a coveted finalist award for Best Book in Alternative Health 2011 with USA BOOK NEWS. I wished we lived near one another and not 3,000 miles apart.
Settling into the Sonoma Mission Inn, its stucco charm and vintner extravaganza downstairs warmed the now raw, cold weather. A sleepy moodiness quilted the wine country sky. Awaiting Hunter’s arrival, I burrowed under my bedcover for a long overdue nap, buoyed by the fun I was having and strides of accomplishment I was taking as a recovered Lymie.
Dinner was divine. We supped with vivacious and talented Mara Williams, author of “Nature’s Dirty Needle” and her warm-hearted husband Erl. The four of us were like long-lost family, similar in spirit and pathos. The time soared by, Mara and I collaborating on our ambitions for Inanna House, the first ‘to be’ residential Lyme treatment facility in the USA. Oh, how we hope to see this truly happen! “Passionate about changing the Lyme dilemma” is an understatement regarding the two of us! We can “taste” Inanna House on the horizon!
Sunday, March 25th, was our BIG DAY- the kickoff fundraiser for Inanna House, held at Running Rabbit Ranch & Vineyards, many hands and hearts working together. It was absolutely wonderful! Please see the website, http://www.InannaHouse.com for photos and more details.
Mara, Eric Gordon, MD and myself all spoke about Lyme disease; our experiences with it, the tragedy of this neglected epidemic, and the keys for a successful recovery. Seventy people in attendance, great food and heartfelt sharing combined to make this an absolute milestone in my life! I was in awe speaking in front of a full house, the gorgeous California vineyards in backdrop out the open doors. I soaked in the profound power of the moment. My heart was filling, tears licking my cheeks, recognizing how far I’d come in 12 years, from invalid status, to write and publish a book, travel alone and lecture, and now offer hope for others’ healing, here amid a crowd of concerned folks, could not hit me any more directly. Yes it’s true! I healed from advanced Lyme disease, I’m now sturdy and strong, and I am helping others regain their lives alongside two of the most talented Lyme practitioners in the country.
Thank you California for embracing me! Your land, your hearts, your sunshine and warmth overwhelms me, and it all feels so good! My smile reaches the hilltops.
-Next Blog to come: Part Two of my West Coast Book Tour