1,144 Miles From Pike's Peak
William, Geoff and I take long walks together. Some days we walk around our neighborhood, other days we walk along a bluff that runs north and south with a trail that skirts a golf course. Our favorite walk is along the beach. When the tide is right we can walk on the damp sand and get close to the crabs and seaweed, the shells and surf. And the seagulls.
We live in Southern California, where there is a great variety of climates and environments... some quite artificial, like Disneyland and the Burbank studios. We also have mountains, deserts, valleys, canyons, mesas, bays, ponds, creeks, reservoirs. Contrast is everywhere in California. I think of the below sea level, parched floor of Death Valley and the sky-scraping top of Mt. Whitney.
I actually love the variety of places, ideas, and natural wonders we can enjoy living here. I like the imagination that comes to life in the mystical lands called Hollywood, Disneyland, Legoland. I like the days when we drive from the desert, over the mountains, to the breaking surf... I savor the unique sights and beauty of all these places.
Lately I have been giving extra thought to what California means to me, its place in the United States, its gifts and features, its citizens and culture. I am preparing to participate in a special project started by "Firefly" at "Scrumptious Living." She wants to create a kind of national tribute, in writing and pictures, from the perspectives of all 50 states. It's called "The Pike's Peak Project" in honor of her brother. Read her post. She says it best.
Look for my "From Sea to Shining Sea: California" post on the 4th of July. In the meantime, I am going to keep thinking about all of the things that make my home state matter to me... what makes it special and worthwhile and what makes it part of "America the Beautiful."
Art, food, farms, history, seashores and canyons, rolling hills and oaks, vineyards and harbors, aquariums, zoos, research centers, technology, research and development, observatories, Pacific Coast Highway, redwoods...
My children and days at the beach, rolling in the sand, eating corn chips and drinking ice cold lemonade, jumping in the surf... there is so much to be happy for, so much to cherish and hold dear.