I have been enjoying every minute of California, during this winter of winters in other parts of the country. We’ve had a bit of a drought, so it’s dry, which is fine with me, and now in the second week of March after daylight savings time has changed over, the sun is out all day and the temperature is in the seventies. It is nicer than summer, where the sun comes out around two and stays out about 3-4 hours and then the fog comes back in and it cools down to the fifties and sixties.
It reminds me of when I moved into this house, in April many years ago. We also had drought, and the sun shone in the living room where I basked on the couch with my arm in a cast and felt like a million dollars. The back yard had two lemon trees, and I had my own bedroom which was set apart and looked out on the trees, and the kitchen was sunny and big and opened on to a little deck in the back yard. I couldn’t have asked for more.
Now I am sitting in the sun in the back yard every day, watching the dogs roam around, dig, investigate, and lie in the sun by the compost (one of their favorite places). I read and listen to the crows and other birds, enjoy the blooming pink kangaroo paws, and investigate the hummingbird nest in my pittosporum tree that I planted in those first years. I also took my walk earlier with the dogs, and was greeted by our postal woman, whom I know by name, and is always so sweet to me, although she stays clear of the dogs, who bark like crazy when they’re in the house and she comes. I gave the CD’s I just made of my songs to my neighbor, who always is supportive and encouraging about all my creative efforts. And I ran into an elderly woman I’ve seen around who stopped to talk about the dogs because she too, is going to adopt two small dogs from a shelter, who had been running the streets together. As we talked, she said she is a bird watcher, getting ready for a trip to Cuba, so of course, I asked her if she’d been to Bosque del Apache in New Mexico. She knew of it and hoped to go one day, so after introducing ourselves to each other, I invited her to visit when that time comes. I walked home on part of the BART track, newly paved, with all that green grass at the sides of the walkway, and several other walkers and bikers enjoying the sun, by a house with a full lemon tree and a gardener who offered me a bag of lemons, and into my own front yard, with flowering lilacs and a few tulips. I am really going to miss all this. Two years of being home, walking dogs every day, and seeing the same people around, has finally made me feel that this is truly my neighborhood.
One of the ways I’ve been processing my feelings is by writing songs, so I’ve realized that I can do that for any part of this transition. I’ve recently written a song called “My State of Grace” about my life in California and how my dreams have changed. I can’t wait to re-record it someday with Sarita playing accordion. She’s practicing it now because she loves the song (bless her heart), but the re-recording might not happen till after we are moved. Too much to do now.
I’m thinking it’s time to write specifically about my house, to which I am saying goodbye, and time to take lots of pictures. My lilac colored house, with its mandalas and flowers and bushes all beautiful and green and tall.