I read a blog post today that was written by an old friend from high school. (Wait – did I just say that? “An old friend from high school?” am I old enough to make those statements??) In it she spoke of the HEART behind those who move to Southern California. She recalls the way that the sand and the ocean and the sky over both steal you away and ended with,
California, you’re my soul mate.
I read it and thought, woah, me too.
I love it, I love the food and the people, I love the perpetual sun sun sun, that’s like joy and peace resting on your skin. You close your eyes and it washes over your face – warmth and HOPE. I love all of the people who ARE Southern California to me and how they represent the essence of being received, being brought into a people and a place that are not your own and for no reason, made a part of it, brought in and given what you have not earned. I love the sand. Love the food, OH the food! The fresh fruits and avocados and Froyo and sushi and tacos just everywhere.
The Ocean. Sand that sparkles like glitter and bare feet pressing in, leaving momentary impressions that warm you from the toes up. The sound of the unstoppable waves, the birds and the far off dolphins. There is nothing like that endless, eternal sound of the water slapping the sparkling shore, washing away the prints of the vagabonds walking in it’s currents, leaving blank canvases again and again and again.
What else can I say? California completes me.
But then…….there is the glory of the Midwest blizzard. Here’s the thing, I adore the snow. The excitement of the impending storm and the brooding clouds hanging lower and lower until they burst forth with pure, unexplainable magic. Each droplet frozen into unique, exquisite, breathtaking flakes of the purest crystal white, taking the dark, dead landscape and covering it; transforming it. The sun rises and everything you see is new; crisp, clean, unadulterated and shining. It’s magic. Cold, frozen, sparkly magic. As a child I loved to throw myself into a giant mound of it and have to dig my way out, pausing when tired and FEELING the immense stillness, that quiet that comes with the snow, it’s like quiet down into your soul.
I love snow ice cream, making snow angels, building snowmen, staging snow ball wars, going sledding. I’m not afraid to drive in the snow and I don’t even really mind shoveling the snow. Ok, I don’t mind the IDEA of shoveling the snow, but that probably begins my problem because here’s the thing, I hate to be cold.
I’m small! There’s nothing I can do about that, and it’s like no matter how many pairs of long johns and smartwool socks I stack on, I’m just going to be cold from October to March. And the shoveling, I attack it with layered zeal, but like everything else in life, lose my steam long before the project is over. Again, I’m small! ………but have a big heart?
Yeah, that doesn’t really help. My idealism and raw excitement before each snowstorm doesn’t even compare to the deep, deep groan in my soul that comes mid-way through shoveling the driveway. And so I ask myself on a regular basis why the heck I have not moved to SoCal yet. The only answer I can really lay hold of is how much I love the 4 seasons, but with each passing year that answer is losing it’s grip. If I’m going to survive by filling up my heart with all too brief, summer San Diego visits….well, I may need to buy a snow blower.