Sierra Sunrise: A Travel Adventure



Sierra Sunrise, a creative non-fiction  adventure, begins as a quest through which  the personal metamorphoses into the universal.  One woman’s search for a resilient sense of identity as part of a modern myth mirrors every woman’s desire to celebrate her own distinct potential.

“...certain wild places on the planet create in us peacefulness, courage, and a strange sense of fulfillment. They invite us to enter the power of reverie imbued in the ancient myths associated with these spiritual sites.”

“Demi, a divorced mother and school teacher for troubled youth, finds herself most at peace when she is hiking the Sierra Nevada [and Australia's Outback]...experiences with wildlife and her surroundings in the Australian Outback or mountains of California are vivid and detailed: 
‘The muted greens of the eucalypt forests encapsulated by soft mosses created a cave like atmosphere.  The bottomlands oozed spongy soils.’ 

These passages fit well within the larger context since this is where Demi is most comfortable...”


Kirkus Review, 27 January 2014

Sierra Sunrise: A Travel Adventure 
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THE MODERN FAMILY?

Epilogue ‑‑ Demeter-Poseidon-Persephone
This ancient Greek myth is a metaphor, which provides modern humans with a reason to celebrate rather than descend into despondency as we deal with loss and love

* * * * * * * * *

Demeter, goddess of the harvest, stares out over a wedge of stark blue Mediterranean Sea at Lilybaeum in southern Sicily. Between the goddess and the ocean lies a field of golden stubble. She gazes into the west, away from the sunrise and dabs her eyes with a soft woolen handkerchief.

Hecate, the wise old crone, approaches. “Oh, dearest, what brings you to tears?” Solicitous, she stands beside Demeter and wraps her arm around the younger goddess’ waist.

“My child, Persephone, is missing. I have searched the breadth of the world. My grief is overwhelming; I can no longer support the fertility of the fields. Without her, the other half of my psyche, I cannot bear the harvest celebrations.”

“Speak to the god Helios, Demeter.  The god of the sun sees all. He will know where to find her,” suggests Hecate.

After Helios shares that Hades, the god of the underworld, has abducted Persephone, Demeter travels to a broad autumnal valley to sort through her options. Irritated initially that Poseidon, the god of the seas and rivers, follows her progress, she changes herself into a white mare to escape his notice and continues to seek solace in the company of her herd of sacred horses.

Poseidon, who has watched her search from a distance and found her vulnerability especially appealing, shape-shifts into a black stallion to attract the goddess. Their heated coupling creates a changed energy in the grief-stricken mother of the harvest.
The goddess returns to Helios, who urges her to take the wise Hecate with her to demand that Hades return her young daughter. With newly found energy, Demeter, convinces a reluctant Hades to allow Persephone to return to her mother for half of every year. 

In celebration, Demeter showers fertility once again upon the fields. However, when Persephone returns to Hades, sadness reigns in the world of the goddess. Thus, today we have winter when Persephone no longer shares Demeter’s world and great celebrations of fertility in spring, summer, and autumn upon Persephone’s return and of the vitalizing sexual liaison between Poseidon and Demeter. A life- affirming mixture of soil, water, and sun provokes the metamorphosis empowering the mother’s successful search for her (inner) child.





Unpacking the Suitcase: 

Leftovers from ...Sunrise


Eventually, one must begin the process of unpacking the suitcase.  You know the one, the brown 
zipper bag that slipped underneath the bed and disappeared into the dust balls, the one you 
moved to and fro when vacuuming up the dust mites for the first two years.

Inside that valise are stored various items one thought she left behind in the last relationship, 
the ones reflected in tone of voice and body language.

The 'hands on hips stance' one used  ferociously as a high school English teacher when Albert 
came in late and interrupted twenty-nine classmates as he stumbled to his seat in the front of 
the room, when Alex fell off his seat in the midst of one of those heart rending confessions from 
Patricia about her latest scoop on the school newspaper. 

Deep inside the suitcase remained “the hands on hip” move of the American school teacher and
the tone of voice that said, ‘Calm  down, pay attention, be quiet, aren't you ashamed,’ all in one. 
That intimidation honed after forty years in the classroom does not belong in any adult-adult 
relationship. It particularly does not belong in a trans Pacific relationship between an 
Australian 
male whose primary school teachers were at least five degrees lower in intelligence than he. 
When would such a behavior sneak out of the tightly zippered bag?

Only when the topic is of major importance and the Aussie bloke is at his most vulnerable: in 
discussions in front of his children about the 'red Indians' of North America.  Who are the 'red 
I
ndians'?  They are ostensibly not residents of the sub continent, India.  When discussing 
America, one must at some time speak of the indigenous folks of that land whilst reprimanding 
Australians for their history of treatment of the indigenous residents of their homeland.  And of 
course, this loaded topic leaves neither side of the discussion with much high ground on which 
to stand.

So, what's with the hands on hips?  ‘No one calls American Indians red Indians.  What a 
denigrating adjective. ‘ Hands on hips stance combined with laughter. 

The teacher is on, full of herself, sure she is right in her intimidation.

It doesn't take long before tempers flare as partners are embarrassed at the sniggerly laughter.  
And of course, shortly thereafter appearing on one's lap top is an email with fifty references to 
'red indians'. The fact that all refererences are to material written before 1910 does not mitigate 
the sense of antipathy.

Stuff it back in the suitcase and shove it under the bed, way under the bed.