California, for Real

I made it to California, no more “California dreaming” for a while. The important thing about arriving in CA is that I made it to my girls. I was an exhausted, depleted wreck, but when I saw their faces, I knew everything was all right. It seems I made a very long trip to a brand new place in order to come home.

Right now I’m watching rain and leaves fall with equal abandon. The wind is forceful enough to sway the limbs of the huge trees that surround me. They’re wearing their best colors—gold, yellow, rust, and many different shades of brown. Some show off red berries and some, red leaves. The wind is trying to strip them bare but we’ll see. Many trees hang onto their leaves as if they believe they won’t have the energy to produce more ever again.

Early this morning there were deer grazing in the “yard.” In reality, my girls’ yard is a small spot in a forest with a photogenic view in every direction. I’m talking about forested mountains, giant trees—all sizes and kinds of trees—and a lake. What’s not to like? Even a woman with her heart planted in the desert can’t help but appreciate what this area has to offer. I know a magical place when I see one.

From this large picture window, I usually get a clear view of Lake Berryessa, but today there is fog. Yesterday there were ducks and geese. I’m sure they’re still hanging out, but I can’t prove it.

For a while, the mountains are shrouded, and then they come into view in a hazy way. As the fog dips and lifts in and out of canyons, I realize how layered these mountains are, like the ones I love in Texas. After a few minutes, all of it disappears for a while.

The scene  I’m watching is as purely autumnal as any I’ve ever witnessed: ground a carpet of discarded leaves, showy splashes of color everywhere I look, leaves still dropping, steady rain, fog, a damp chill in the air, and a bright, warm fireplace inside. Some would call this a dreary day, but I see it as absolutely perfect—nature doing its thing with pizzazz. What will it do tomorrow?

That place in me from which all writing flows is filling up again—I feel it. I don’t even know what to call it, but when it’s empty I’m miserable. When it’s full, I’m whole and alive. At last, I feel the urge to write instead of procrastinate. That makes me happy.

And my girls are coming home for lunch.



One thought on “California, for Real

  1. So very cool!!!  I can appreciate many non-desert places myself, but I am and always will be a mis-born desert rat, having entered the world in Houston, TX and finally in adulthood finding myself where I should have been all along.  Though no longer there, it will always sing in my blood. 

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