“More Stars in the Sky Than Grains of Sand on Earth.”

I have read that there are more stars in the sky than grains of sand on the Earth, and it certainly seemed to be true the night Brad and I camped at Whiskeytown Shasta – Trinity National Recreation Area in northern California. The vastness of the Universe has held humanity’s attention for eons—and tonight was no exception for me. It was a rather spontaneous stop garnered by a quick internet search earlier that afternoon.  Yes, we were able to reserve a camp spot—and even pay the nominal fee over the phone with a credit card.  That was the easy part. As was our greeting by the National Park security who checked our name off the list and gave us verbal instructions and a cryptic map which designated our “C-16” spot that would be our “home” and rest spot for the night. However, by the time we reached the parking lot—complete darkness had set in—and in spite to producing two small flashlights—the layout—the paths—the markings and the darkness made the discovery of our campsite a bit of a challenge.  Was this a metaphor for us, for humanity as well?

Our persistence paid off and after about 45 minutes, our 3-4 minute walk downhill to the water and our camp site numerous times had us somewhat settled in—tent, sleeping bags and even two folding chairs—which provided the scenic views to the heavens.  We literally tailgated on the back of the pickup truck on the asphalt parking lot finishing cold chicken and fruit and by 11:00 P.M. found ourselves back down sitting in our observation chairs—sipping a glass of wine and relaxing in the fairly quiet wilderness.  (The “neighbors” kids finally began to get quiet and the dog was at last peaceful—lol—woof-woof.) So much as a break from suburbia!

As I stared out into the heavens, I wondered, what lay beyond the boundaries of our human existence?  Who were we really, behind the cloaked veil that our daily lives consumed?  And, where did we come from?  There are many who believe that we are seeded from the stars—that philosophy, when I thought about it, felt right.  Were we seeded from the Pleadians two hundred thousand years ago?  Were these light beings our divine parents from a lineage billions of years old?   Were we the “new kids” on the block? There were many indigenous and ancient peoples whose creation story linked us to the stars—and each story to each other, even though there was no means of communication between them.  These stories were etched and painted upon the caves and artifacts over the millennium.  There were sightings of lights where no electricity existed—Mt. Shasta was certainly one—Hawaii and Uluru were other places of magic. Our knowledge so limited, and our technology still primitive—gave us little understanding of the vastness and infinite makings of the multiverses and galaxies beyond our closest frontiers.

And, so it was, as I drifted off to sleep—thinking about my adventure to east Texas to reclaim my old MGB with my friend Brad and the stars that filled my imagination and my fascination.  It had been a long hot day and we had already crossed many miles when my tired body laid upon the air mattress. What did we really know?

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Battle Cruiser

I met the truck only the afternoon before.  My friend Brad had named it the Battle Cruiser with the plate to match: BTLCRSR.  I must admit, it was certainly not a pretty sight. The yellow paint faded—exposed rust in certain places and green moss covering parts of the exterior and hood. It’s four and a half decades were evident; it was a work horse.

After some coaxing, the loyal truck came to life.  I was happy to see the life return as the deep throaty motor sounded like a tired warrior awakening as daybreak arose too early: Brad pumped the gas pedal and cajoled the old Ford pickup into being.

I had a mission—and needed the Battle Cruiser’s help.  The instructions from Brad were simply that first gear was not necessary—to low a gear to start. “Use second” he said. Easy enough I thought and nodded, as I climbed in the next morning and sat in the driver’s seat, starting the engine.  After decades of smaller and smaller cars—and trucks—this old relic was immense.  As tall as I am—and as long a reach as I have—I could not, even leaning over and stretching, open and unlock the passenger door from the inside.   Were the vehicles really this big???  Wow.

And, so it was, I shifted the truck into gear, lifted the clutch and headed up the wooded driveway finding my way to the 101 and to the Kingston-Edmonds ferry off the Olympic Peninsula and toward Bellevue; my childhood home. I thought about my mission to save the trash burner—a request out of my Mother’s house—before it’s fate met the awaiting bulldozer; demolishing it to the ground.  Another era gone.  As I pulled out of the driveway and on to the Sequim neighborhood graveled road, I felt my Father sitting in the passenger’s seat.  Perhaps, he felt my bit of nervousness, apprehension, or trepidation with the old truck?  At any rate, I felt the reassurance as the memories of familiar childhood adventures surfaced.  This time however, I was driving—and he was riding.  I continued my drive south 42 miles to the Washington State Ferry terminal; my mind concentrating on the road as I roared along feeling like something out of Mad-Max Road Fury.

I thought about the laughter that ensued when I voiced my request for the trash burner; I had my reasons and I didn’t really care what anyone thought.  I pulled up to the toll booth to purchase my round-trip fare.   “Lane six”, said the woman in the toll booth as she handed me my change and receipt.  I smiled and thanked her, easing the truck back into gear and driving forward into my designated parking lane to await the Ferry’s arrival into Kingston terminal. Settled, I hopped out of the Battle Cruiser and headed up to grab a cup of coffee—standing in line—I heard someone shout—“Here comes the ferry.”  I abandoned the line and headed back to where the truck was parked.  The adventure had been so smooth thus far and all was going as planned.  Or so I thought.

Lane five moved beside me and I turned the key in the ignition to start the engine.  Nothing. I turned the key off and on once again.  Nothing. I pumped the gas pedal and tried several more times to start the engine . . . nothing.  Not even a peep from the mechanical beast from which I sat behind the steering wheel slightly panicked and watching the other vehicles and passengers drive past me and onto the loading dock—and onto the green and white vessel that crosses Puget Sound so regularly.

“Are you in trouble?” the WSF* system employee shouted, I nodded—“yes, I think I am,” I answered back.

“I’ll get someone to help you.” And, I climbed out of the Battle Cruiser wondering, what just happened?

Within minutes, another, employee named Sarah had wheeled over a portable battery charger to jump the truck.  She stopped—and pointed to the winch on the front bumper.  I turned my head and stared, “Oh, sh-t,” there was smoke coming from the winch. Whirling back towards the terminal—she said—“I’ll be right back—stand back.” I looked at the winch with disbelief, and within moments she was back with a large fire extinguisher ready to douse any flame should it appear and this situation become worse.   With the 11:55 am ferry loaded—I watched my ride sail away—wondering how long I would be sitting on the Kingston dock—somewhat helpless and wondering what was next?

Before I realized, there was more than five WSF employees who appeared from almost nowhere—pitching in to work on the truck. Now, I will tell you, that I feel I have many talents—but auto mechanic—is NOT one.  I was raised helping my Dad with horses, not automobiles and besides having the oil changed, stopping for gas or running the car through the car wash—my desire ended there.  So, the fact that this help had arrived with a positive attitude and generous giving spirit brought me tremendous gratitude to my uncertain circumstances. I explained, that I had just met the truck the previous afternoon . . . it was on loan from a friend.

And, so with an obvious quick assessment of a trauma medic, it was agreed that the winch wires needed to be cut; disconnect the source of the problem! In agreement and with a plan, we began, focused on the task at hand.  I choose to look under the front seat for something that might be able to help cut the wires to the bilious dying winch—and happily came up with a small pair of wire cutters.  Phoning Brad, I explained the dilemma and what had happened.   He offered to come save me—but I told him I thought I was in good hands; I would certainly let him know if I needed his help.

As I turned around to offer the red-handled tool to my new “pit crew” a man two rows over held a crescent wrench, another pair of cutters and gloves.  He began to disconnect the battery.  I turned back around and another lady asked for water.  I handed her mine—and she worked with precision filling the dehydrated battery cells.  I glanced over and noticed that another gentleman was leaning over the front fender and working in hyper speed skillfully cleaning contacts and then rerouting the wires that connected the solenoid, to the battery and to the ailing winch.  (Which apparently was the reason the truck wasn’t starting when jumped.)  This man, wearing a bright orange T-shirt with motorcycle designs, white hair and beard, and half smoked cigarette hanging from his mouth worked with such expertise we all sort of stepped back; everyone seemed to sense his mastery.  Before long, the “bull” arrived and another attempt at starting the disabled Battle Cruiser began.  We—the truck and I— had definitely developed a bond since I had first climbed aboard hours before.  This time when I turned the ignition—the resuscitation of the Battle Cruiser was successful and it issued it’s healthy roar.  I literally welled up as the “pit crew” and other waiting passengers in line clapped and cheered at our triumphal achievement.  I stepped out with a big smile and thanked everyone. The battery cable clips came off and the hood came down—just as the next ferry was pulling into the dock.  The lady in the car next to me handed me a wet wipe—she said, “they’re really for make-up but I think they will work great for the grease on your hands.”  I hadn’t even noticed.  Another woman came up to me—and said, “If they load and you aren’t signaled—please go ahead to me.” I thanked her too.   This was a reminder of humanity at its best.

I waved and honked in gratitude as “Sarah” waved me on . . . I was the first one on the ferry for that crossing and I felt very honored.

I reflected back on all the chaos in Washington D.C—the hatred and vitriol spewed by so many these days. There was certainly no fence sitting anymore; all was being revealed.  You could not be someone you weren’t.  I believe deeply we are all the same; okay—we may look a bit different—but we are all pieces of the divine.  I believed humanity was proving it’s chance for goodness and light; in fact we seemed to be at war with the darkness: greed and lack of integrity and hatefulness.

The event on the Kingston Dock certainly cemented my belief in humanity’s goodness—something I wished the evening news focused on more—not the inherent fear, fear and fear they sold to their vulnerable audiences daily. It is our power of intent—our desire of compassion—and our tolerances and acceptances of our differences which make us strong.  Our common goal must be one of LOVE—which if you haven’t heard, is the most powerful force in the Universe.  LOVE changes physical things and it will change our world too.  The time is now—and we are the Ones! The powerful  difference we each make based on our choices every day changes our world. And, that’s the world I choose to see and live in.

The rest of the trip was seamless and the trash burner is safely stored in Sequim—waiting for its return to service.  I on the other hand—look forward to the next adventure—whenever and however it presents itself. Namasté.

“Inspired Wellness from Within”

Cathrine Silver, HC, AADP

Cathrine Silver is a Board Certified holistic counselor with a practice in Lauderdale by the Sea, FL. She is the author of the book, Riding the Light Beam: How Any Woman Can Find the Hero Inside available at Amazon.com. She can be contacted via email at cathysilverhealth@gmail.com. For more information visit www.CathrineSilver.com.

As a post note:  I learned that the man in the orange T-shirt name was Richard.  He was a master mechanic and forensic scientist from the Tri-Cities who had been visiting his wife whose daughter was due to have surgery.  I had gone upstairs on the ferry to use the restroom and have a snack.  I purchased clam chowder and a water—and upon walking up to the cashier—made a last minute decision to add a beer.  LOL—it had been quite a morning.  I sat down—and Richard walked by.  I called his name, and asked him if he drank beer.  He replied—“On occasion.” 

“Can I buy you a beer”, I enquired? He nodded.  I got up and went back to the cashier and returned to the cafeteria where Richard sat.  “It’s the least I can do.”  “Thank you for everything” I said—“I have a feeling—I would still be sitting on the dock without you stopping by.”  He said, “I saw the hood of the truck raised.  I travel with my tools.” 

 I will always be grateful for all who gave me help that day.  On some level, we are always watched over—and he was one of my Earth Angels that day.  I was glad I could offer the simple gesture of thanks. 

*Washington State Ferry

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