Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Goodness of the Universe

After living in San Diego for almost two years, I finally made it down to Black's Beach for one of the infamous full moon parties on the longest day of the year. Except for two small problems: (1) the folks who organized this particular party neglected to check the lunar schedule regarding when, in fact, the moon would be full and (2), they also forgot to double check that it really was the summer solstice. They were a few days off on both counts and although the night was beautiful and well worth a sundown beer and bonfire, it was not quite the naked drum-beating hippie mass of lunar-love I was expecting. We ten and our one modest bonfire were the only things on the beach once the sun-worshippers disappeared along with their celestial idol.

Franco and I weren't quite as young or as energetic as the recent college graduates we hiked down the cliff-side to meet, so as they skipped and twirled along down the beach, he and I kept the pace to a saunter, holding hands in that sunset-on-the-beach idyllic way and letting go for brief moments to share a thought or tell a story. The subject of the safety of our things way back yonder came up, and I made the comment that I believe in the goodness of the Universe and that I knew our things would be just fine where they were. Despite the fact that I have had things stolen from me, and had people I trusted betray my loyalties, I still proceed on the concept of karmic retribution and know that the world needs all the positivity and loveliness it can get. I do my best to put it out there; do my part to balance that dark with glorious shining light. I figure it's the least I can do. We walked further away as the the ocean and the sun melted into one another, and turned back as the mist descended all around us. The other members of our group were but tiny frolicking silhouettes far in the thickening dusk. We two turned back through the creepy-strange sand bugs and lapping waves towards our things and our food.

Everything was there when we arrived to our unburnt wood, snacks and backpacks. The Universe delivered on my promise.

After a few hours of lounging in the flickering firelight with the sand fleas and drunken grads, Franco and I decided to take our fading Mag light and head back up the steep cliff path to my waiting vehicle. The moon was a whisper of an idea on the far side of the heavens and the only light to be seen the whole world around us was the diminishing fire we'd just left.

As we approached the trail head, I noticed the barely distinguishable outline of a small and skinny human form leaning against a solitary fence post. I called out to the form to help dispel the initial thought that this person was there to do us some sort of harm. I held the flashlight up so that Franco could see what I was seeing, and I told him I thought this guy needed some help (keep in mind, communicating for Franco and I, with our hands full of sandy beach goods and pitch blackness surrounding and only one crappy flashlight for illumination was an interesting challenge to surmount at this hour).

Turns out the poor guy was on the beach for his first time and had lost his friends once darkness descended a full two hours before. I was amazed that he was able to find the path's entrance on the obscured cliff face considering the following: (1) it really was black as a panther's paw and (2) this dude was WASTED. Alcohol fumes rising from his pores in a fine mist. Falling over every three steps. Wasted.

We of course offered to walk the guy up the narrow, unlit, sheer-drop off cliff path, and for the most part I literally held on to his backpack or shirt to make sure he didn't fall off and plunge to his death. He repeated "thank you thank you" like a mantra and did not resist this almost-babying kind of treatment: he knew he needed it. Twice during our ascent I truly believe that he would have been a goner had I or Franco not been physically holding on to him. It was a nerve-wracking hike.

Well, as things often lead into one-another, I ended up driving our new friend home as I did not feel right leaving him alone in the near-abandoned dirt lot to fend for himself. Luckily for us he lived within five miles of my house, and I knew exactly where it was. He was telling me as I approached his house that he wanted me to wait for a minute once he went inside; he had something he wanted to give me.

I dropped him off. He went inside. He came back out.

He was holding something in his hands and he told me that he wanted to give me this gift as a sign that, (his exact words) there "truly is goodness in the Universe," and that thanks to us his belief in it was renewed afresh that night. Then he handed me a beautiful raw crystal and said that he received it in thanks for a random good deed he had done, and now it was mine to keep or give away as I saw fit.

My little moral: do good. Be good. Put it out there and spread the light. There is always someone who will need you more than you know and you never know when they're gonna show up in your life.


Jenn Andrade said...

Amanda - your writing is beautiful and powerful in it's ability to impact another. I'm inspired. You help me remember that there are good people out there in the world. (Most just talk about being good... you ARE!) Hugs to you, my friend.

Catherine Erhard said...

beautiful. absolutely beautiful and lovely. your story alone rejuvenated my own desire to do good and believe more, every day, in the goodness of the universe. thank you.

Heather said...

Amen, sister. I have goosebumps.

This? This is why we have hit it off. :)

Amanda said...

thank you ladies. it's an honor to have a positive impact on you :)