We did a thing! I look at these pictures, and remember this outing, and it's wonderful. Geoff and I, rather spontaneously, left the house, drove an hour and a half, and by the way it rained and was gray and wonderful the whole drive up, and back, yet blue skied and comfortable at the destination, and this sentence is more winding than the road to Julian... Anyways! We hiked around, and inhaled fresh air, with fresh views, and had long talks about ideas, hopes, plans, hopeful plans. We didn't get apple pie, or shop. Oh. Wait. I take that back. I did pop into a favorite spot in Santa Isabel, but it's not the shop it used to be, and what I found was a lovely hardware store, with a friendly proprietor, and I bought two dollars worth of Smarties and a bat box. Oh crud. I think I left the Smarties in the pocket of my dress. The dress went in the washer last night. You guys, I am pretty sure I have ADHD. I'm not kidding. I am not diagnosed, but I have curated a pretty strong therapist community on Instragram, and the evidence is compelling.
I love Julian, and oak trees, and rolling hills. For the first time, it occurs to me that I hold a lot of store and space in my head and heart for a place that I fixate on as kind of a home-place, a bedrock of my childhood, when actually we visited only a handful of times, lived nearby for only a few years. I've gone back, again and again, since forever, but... the connection and sentiment is based largely on brief, yet highly treasured moments. I guess it's that those were formative moments, occasions, so that even though they were small in time, they made big, dear impressions. And so, when we visit, I love that the smell of hot, dry scrub mingles with pine, and I feel at home. I love seeing familiar turns in the road, the green house with the red roof, the manzanita in beds of crisp oak leaves. Acorns. Schist. I feel possesive, protective of the intangible ways red cabins, and old store fronts, buckwheat blossoms, and white sage, recall happiness, well being, belonging. And all because I have some memories, some anecdotes... we drive through, and some part of me feels like a founder, a co-owner. Not boastfully, not with thoughts of dominating... but as a kind of idea about being connected, being one thread in a narrative. Do you ever think of a feeling you have that has sort of evolved into an unpsoken belief? I've never put this into words, but there is a feeling I get, in Ramona, Julian, along the back country roads, that there is a picture, some evidence of me being there, in the Pioneers' Day Parade, walking into the 5 & Dime, or scrambling up boulders across creekbeds, and someone recognizes me, Handsome Eddie, or the girl that lived down the street and rode her horse, Stony, to our house, maybe serene Eileen, maybe Cece who could make a perfect pig squeal, had long smooth hair, looked like she could have been in the Coca Cola ad, where they sing... one of them could claim me, declare She belongs here, she is familiar. I can tell you something about her. Not in so many words, but just a feeling. Not everything has to make sense, I suppose.
So. Being there, with Geoff, the ride, the hike, the talks... it was lovely, and one of those occasions that will stand out, because it was happy, because my senses were awakened, and we laughed. All of which makes me feel chagrinned (embarrassed, distressed) over my increasingly frequent bouts of anxiety, and depression. I think it's depression stemming from anxiety. I think overthinking, explaining, rationalizing and feeling apologetic are also tightly woven into the situation. I wouldn't be writing about this, except yesterday I was so low, I didn't resist stating it matter of factly: