Sophia and Richard live in a beautiful and remote valley, 40 minutes east of Carmel. Here, for over fourteen years, Sophia has recorded CDs, taught workshops, composed songs, worked the office part of her business, raised roses, relished and battled with various tenants and employees, played with her wolves, and refreshed her soul after bouts of travel, singing and selling her recordings. She loves the nearby Los Padres National Forest and the beaches in Carmel, but she is now drawn to living in a rural community of like-minded people in Mendocino County. She has listed the house and land. She asked me to tell you that. I'll tell you, for $360,000, you could do a lot worse.
I mean, here's the view from her bedroom window.
Besides the house, which you saw
yesterday, there's a round platform where a canvas yurt
used to be
She's got a spectacular rose garden,
but that goes when she moves.
Sophia, Richard and I took a walk with the dogs to the Carmel River Dam, which is on the path to the Los Padres National Forest--the same forest that is in back of Big Sur. The lupine was lush, and the wolves cavorted in it, looking for ground squirrels.
Sophia related that the river valley is in danger of extinction through the construction of an enormous dam. She told how, recently, the Essalen Indians rode horses up the Carmel River Valley from the sea for two days, and were met at the Birthing Rock, a place where Indian women had gone to give birth in bygone days, by a crowd of supporters of all ages, walks of life and ethnicities, who, upon seeing them arrive, burst into the song "The Earth is our mother; we must take care of her." So far, the dam has been stalled.
In the late afternoon, I drove into Carmel to sing, tell stories and sign books at Thunderbird Books. I had no sooner moved the last of my instruments and merchandise into the store when a deluge began. Only one person braved the weather to come hear me, a lovely lady named Martha who had owned a copy of the original edition. However, the bookstore staff gathered, and I did my show for them.
Thunderbird Books in Carmel
Ginna Bell Bragg, the events coordinator for Thunderbird, has a book out from Random House, too--it's called Simple Celebrations, a vegetarian cookbook from her years as the chef at Deepak Chopra's institute in La Jolla. Previous to that, Ginna studied bookbinding for three years and opened her own bindery. We bought one another's works, and I was treated to a salad made from one of her recipes--she also manages the cafe at Thunderbird. She calls it a Goddess Salad, and it was fabulous.
That's Ginna Bell Bragg in white, and her assistant, Linda, in gray.