As I continued my walking journey passing through Barstow, I shoot a text to my friend Michael.
I keep seeing this grandma like character take me in and totally take care of me. Feeding me homemade soup and giving me a place to stay for the night. It was so real and vivid.
As I go even further walking the next day, I hit a town called Newberry Springs. So another no one in sight type of stop in the Mojave, population 3000. My legs and shoulders were doing their, Hey I don’t wanna go any further, song and dance. The sun was just about ready to set at 5 pm. It had been miles with no real civilization in sight and I assumed much of the same and to sleep outside still with no sleeping bag.
So, I do what I always do, I ask for a miracle. Surprise me, I say outloud. Make it something I just couldnt’ve guessed as I drag my half dead legs forward for another step.
And then I saw it from the corner of my eye, it right next to a broken down old motel sign The Baghdad Cafe.
God: Go ahead Jasmine, and head inside and once inside, ask someone, “do you know of any motels nearby?”
Me: Are you sure you want me to stop, I already know there aren’t any motels nearby.
Yep. go on inside.
Before I could get inside,I am approached by a woman that looked just like the vision I saw of the grandma the day before. Short, blondish grayish hair, 60’s or 70’s, thin build. She opens the cafe door and ushers me in.
My names Andrea, I’m in charge here, now I saw you just a bit ago out on the road, it’s about to get cold, get on in here. You need food, what can I get ya?
Me: Oh If I could just sit for a while I just ate.
Her offer didn’t sound like a suggestion, it sounded more like a statement of fact.
It wasn’t long before I had a little 4 year old little angel by the name of Emmy hanging onto my lap.
I love you I love you. She yelps. Her arms outstretched and her twinkly eyes and smile giving me just the medicine I needed for the day.
As I soaked up the warm heat on blast above my face, We played games on my phone and I gave her a little mini glittery wallet to keep as a gift.
Andrea was a take no nonsense kind a lady and she also had a heart of gold. It was obvious she felt most comfortable taking care of others, and I knew her taking me in that moment away from the freezing night temperatures outside, was nothing short of miracle.
Andrea: I’ts not much, but I’ve got a broken down trailer in the back of here, I’ll ask the night manager Gilbert for an extra blanket, that way you aren’t on the cold ground for the night.
She introduced me to Gilbert, A kind, older gentleman that had such a gentle essence to him. I knew I was in safe company.
Gilbert: Oh sure yeah I’ve got a sleeping bag for ya.
As the evening went on, Andrea and the rest of the crew left for the day, but not before pulling me aside, and telling how worried she was me being out here all alone, and sliding me 30 dollars. Bless her heart.
It was just me, Gilbert and the restaurant.
Gilbert: Now I’m not a weirdo or anything like that so you don’t have to worry I’ll leave you be, but I have an extra couch bed set up in my trailer, it’ll be much warmer and comfier rather than sleeping in that broken down trailer. I’d like to offer it to you.
I wasn’t about to say no.
As we wound down for bed, Gilbert told me a little history about the place along with Andre. This was where the Baghdad Cafe was filmed. This place is world famous, and We get visitors from all over the world but the winter is the slow season. We all aren’t all related here but its like one big family here.
Me: Andrea is just so kind.
And, as if an unseen force planted the words in his mouth.
Gilbert: Yeah, everybody actually has a nickname for Andrea. They call her Grandma.
Grandma, I thought. The woman from my vision the day before. There it is.
As I laid in bed, I could feel the high energies of God surge around and through my body as they always did whenever a miracle like this would happen. Each time something out of this world, something that made no logically sense from a human perspective would take place, like this, it undid my investment, my beliefs in this world just a little bit more. What I mean by that is what just happened, me ending up at this Cafe at sunset and taking in by a bunch of strangers, defied the laws of space/time. If this was possible, once again, it opened up my awareness just a crack more, that anything was.
Throughout the night I could feel the starts of a chest cold coming in. The kind where when you cough you lungs burn, making it hard to cough anything up from the tightness.
The next morning I went on my way, but not before grabbing a Baghdad Cafe T-shirt that I planned to rock for the rest of my journey and snapping some photos. You’re my man Gilbert, you’re an Angel.
As I set foot towards Ludlow. I knew I was entering about 30 miles of really nothing in sight. I could feel the shakiness from my body being busy working on tackling my new cold. A dripping nose in the middle of a Mojave mini sandstorm, isn’t fun incase you were wondering.
Me: I don’t know God, I’m not feeling too confident about today’s journey. About 15 miles in and I’d been out for a while, meaning I was going slowwwww. I’d had it. tears, talking to God and a lot of breaks.
Me: Okay I’ll make it to that 3rd pole up ahead, and then I’ll stretch.
God: Once you get to Ludlow, rest for two nights there.
I wasn’t about to disagree but Ludlow still felt a million years away from where I stood.
I had been counting the cars on the road that I’d seen in the last several hours, about nine. Just me and the Mojave desert, and a sunburn I’d started to rock because I was too exhausted to search for my sunscreen.
Me: Okay God, Needing a miracle. With being sick, give me a green light to catch a ride for the rest of the way to Ludlow as long as its okay with you, I’ll take it.
Not long after I see an army type truck, pass by.
God: They are gonna turn back around.
Sure enough, a quarter mile up the road and they turn back around.
The driver rolls down his window.
Ben: Hey! I’m Ben and this is Timmy. Would you like a pork sandwich?
Me: Why not!?
I figured they had a rewrapped sandwich that they’d hand me and go on their way. Well not exactly.
Ben pulls over and starts unloading full camp gear.
Ben: We just got back from camping for two days. You sit in this chair and we’ll set it all up.
Chairs, a table, and a skillet filled with pork later, we were in the middle of the Mojave, the three of us, enjoying a full feast.
Timmy was a bit quieter than Ben. Ben was originally from NC but lived in Monrovia. Married, and a father to 3, the youngest being in high school. Every minute, he’d have his hand out offering me something.
Here’s some chips, have some Oreos, take these waters and bananas for the road.
I knew it was half because these wonderful men I’d met along the way just couldn’t wrap their minds around a 33 years old woman staying alive and safe while walking 3000 miles to the other side of the country alone. But these random acts of extending themselves to me was clearly one thing.
After some back and forth considering the guys were headed in the opposite direction. Ben offered to take me the remaining 7 miles or so to Ludlow.
The sun was setting, and I wasn’t about to say no.
I couldn’t help but imagine a hot bath and snuggling up in a warm bed, for the night.
Ben hands me the rest of his CBD mints as a parting gift.
Me: You’re angels.
I hug them both and land at the only motel in Ludlow, The Ludlow Motel, Naturally.
I approach a woman at the counter and I wearily inquire about a room. Oh we are all full, there are no keys on the board, that means theres no rooms.
I could feel the familiar surge of tears do its best to join me, so I become very still and wait for the next set of instructions.
Me: this is all part of the fun Jazz all part of the fun. what will happen next?
God: Its okay, just go across the street see that diner. Go ahead and sit at the counter and order a coffee.
Yea the Ludlow cafe, okay.
So I do and hop up to the barstool at the counter. and within minutes I meet the waitress Vanessa, as well as Sean, and Robert.
As it was slow, Vanessa had a text book out on the counter.
Me: whatcha studying?
Vanessa: Oh it’s Criminal Law but this is my last class to get my associates in Science. After this I’m moving to Texas with my boys and I’m thinking about this ultrasound tech program once I get there. With my husband passing away a few years back, theres nothing really keeping me here anymore, I’m ready to start fresh.
It was amazing how open and willing people are to share their story so quickly from hello. I had experienced that over and over these last 9 days.
Sean overhears us, Hey I saw you on the road earlier, Sean points to me.
I told them a bit about my story, the God part, the walking across the country part. I kept it simple, as I’m usually told to do so far.
Me: Yeah so anyway, the Motel is totally booked, so if its alright I’ll hang here for a while.
Sean: Ya know what, you see that Mechanic shop there, he points across the parking lot. He has a van that someone was using to sleep in, but they left the van. I’m sure he’d let you sleep there for the night.
Are you serious?
Totally, let me go talk to him.
As if they day couldnt get any better…
Vanessa: By the way, your breakfast is on the house.
Robert: And, this cafe closes at 6pm Robert chimed in. But you see that trailer across the street? If you need a bathroom, I run that trailer you are free to use the bathroom at anytime during the night.
I waved them goodbye and head over to the mechanic shop.
Me: Hi. I’m looking for AL?
Al: Thats me! You wanna sleep in the van, no problem, stay as long as you want! Heres some wet ones if you wanna wipe down, theres a seeping bag, and bed in the van so you should stay pretty warm. Take this flashlight and here’s a couple beers.
wow Cbd and beersfrom different sources in the same day. Talk about a new kind of miracle.
As I lay in bed with more surges of energy again floating through my body. This trip wasn’t about getting from Ca to NJ as fast as I could at all and I’d always known that. It wasn’t about traveling prepared, with all kinds of camping gear etc. It was about being in state of complete vulnerability for the world to embrace me if they chose to. It was about the miracles that would occur. The miracles that would occur through everyone I’d meet along the way. Ed, Andre, Gilbert, Ben, Vanessa, Al and the rest of them, they shared something in common whether they were aware of it or not. Their hearts were open to the truth of who they are. The truth that theres only one of us here. and, its God. God using our bodies to move us to help the next person in need.
After my beers, I laid down with my tears of gratitude until I passed out. I was back to staring at the ceiling of a car under completely different circumstances. After my day it was just another day of the obvious. That there indeed is only one of us here….and….. it’s God.
God, appearing as many.