half your attention on your breath. I promise your weekend will be one to remember if you make it your anchor."
Aaron Conner- my brilliant friend
The Fairhaven Guest house is owned by Raven and Flame. From the outside, there is nothing special about this house, but the inside holds a calming energy. As I am checking in, Raven explains to me that they compost, recycle and use cloth napkins instead of paper. The dishwasher has a sign on it that says "clean dishes only in this house"- (meaning wash your damn dishes.) Breakfast is available, but you have to make it yourself. Coffee, locally made sunflower bread, organic butter and homemade blackberry jam are on the menu. I have two of everything- so amazingly delicious in it's simplicity. With each bite I imagine the hands that made the bread, the cows that sweet butter was coming from, and the farmer who picked the berries to make that jam. I am on sensory overload and it's only 7 am.
The wind is howling when I meet Bill in Afton. I mean a seriously crazy- blow you off the road kind of wind like I've never experienced before. Bill flashes his trademark smile as we hug and bundle up nervously, then make our way to the trailhead. It is instantly warm and calm. I shed everything within the first 1/2 mile- and we're off. Concentrating on my breath I drink in the glow as we scamper through ankle deep leaves over rocks. Lighthearted conversation and the sheer beauty and novelty of the trail make the three hours fly by. I'm on the AT for God's sake!
Pizza and beer in Crozet at the finish with talk of running and writing makes it the perfect day. And it's only 3:30 pm.
Nothing is better than a warm shower after a trail run, and I start to prepare for my evening at Charlottesville's Historic Outdoor Mall. I put on make up and fix my hair for myself. I will go there by myself. I will eat dinner by myself. I will drive over there and figure out where to go and where to park because it's not worth staying in my room all fucking night for fear of sitting alone.
So I walk and admire the shops with beautiful clothes, and shoes and housewares and people. I marvel at the genuineness of the Blue Whale Book shop. I stop in for a wine and truffle tasting where an exotic Indian girl pairs a Riesling with a Lemon cello, a SMG with a Rosemary caramel chocolate, and a port with a Tahitian vanilla. Do you know how long it's been since I've had port? I swear I was reliving a scene from the movie "Chocolate."
Dinner at the bar at Bizou is a baby kale Cesar salad with rich shrimp and creamy cheese grits, and a very light Pinot Noir recommended by the cute bartender. She explains everything to me proudly, as if she herself were the owner of the restaurant. My belly is full and happy. I breathe in gratefulness, and it's only 7:30 pm.
Tonight I am tucked into worn, but oh so soft bedding as I write. New guests arrive at Fairhaven guesthouse and I hear Raven explaining that the fruit is organic, and that everyone should compost and recycle. A child with the most splendid giggle melts my heart.
I breathe in the peace of the this space and fall in love with life all over again.
But now it's time to sleep-. Tomorrow is race day!