Heartbreak Hotel California
Really. This is the FINAL post in this week’s series, Grounded: Stories From the American Southwest. I love California, and I don’t think my post yesterday did it justice. If this is your first visit to Grounded, click here to start the series. If you’d like to subscribe to my blog, subscription boxes are on the right-hand side of the page. If you like me enough to Like me on Facebook, simply click Like in the Facebook box on the right. I’ve updated my blogroll with lots of new lovely folks. Check them out if you’re seeking more great content. As always, thank you for reading my little blog.
Heartbreak is like winter. It litters the ground with the detritus of what used to be green. Things that once bloomed with color look stripped of life, dead. Barrenness clogs sightlines, haunts the soul, saps the spirit.
That’s how I found myself at Lake Tahoe one cold December. How long is too long to mourn the loss of love? For over two years, I lived in the wasteland of a broken heart. Desolation informed my every turn. My decision to visit Lake Tahoe in winter was built upon two things: 1. a cheap flight; and 2. a life-long friend who encouraged me to see it.
I arrived on a collision course with a cold front. In a race against the changing weather, I chose to see Emerald Bay, because it alone matched my bleak mood. The isolation of its narrow green waters beckoned me.
The sky was too burdened to stay propped up as I drove into the parking area above the spit of dull jewel-like liquid. Down a treacherous trail, past denuded trees and silence was the only path for me. I snapped some pictures of a spooky building along the shore and marveled at how the moving ice rounded out a liquified emerald. In the calm before the snow storm, I felt soothed.
This place, it was me, the landscape of my ruined heart.
Water moved over rock. I found the source and followed it, up through the trees to a rocky ledge. Suspended between the lake and the toothy ridgeline, I sat among the trees and listened to nothingness. Like a vortex, it sucked my pain into itself, took everything. In its place, dots of white blew over the ridge, the first blush of the virgin snow of the season. It coats everything it touches and recreates it anew. I let those snowflakes cling to my eyelashes and mingle with my tears. I even tried to catch a few on my tongue, pinpricks that melted and became part of me. That topography replaced my shattered heart with the scent of evergreen as I danced in the blowing snow.
I left my broken heart on that mountainside. A stunning vista is the ideal place for a burial, a spot I will always visit and relive the lightness of release. Once upon a time, she lived happily ever after.