(The following was actually written on Sunday, Feb. 5)
I boarded a bus this afternoon, from my beloved Sonoma County, Calif. down to SFO to catch a flight to Dallas. It’s a perfect day out here. I mean, perfect. The hills are greening, the cows and sheep and llamas and whatnot are glowing in the slanting afternoon light, the sky is California’s trademarked blue, and every vista is pastoral and peaceful. If it were a photograph you’d swear it wasn’t real. All of this has contrived to awaken this voice in my head that is now screaming, “Where do you think you’re going? Don’t you know this is the most beautiful place in the northern hemisphere?” Yup, I know. I’d climb right out of the bus window if I could.
This is what California, specifically northern California, does to people. Every time I leave I think I must be crazy to go. Every time I come home I’m so grateful to be back. During the trip back up 101 from the airport, no matter what time of year or time of day, is when I really feel it, especially after a long day spent trying to get here from wherever I have been. Sunny or misty or darkness-lit-with-a-million-lights-reflecting-off-the-bay, it’s just beautiful. Maybe it’s something they put in the water, but it makes you not want to live anywhere else.
Now I’m sitting in the airport, the screaming has become someone’s unhappy young child that no amount of iPodded Eric Clapton can drown out, and I’m already looking forward to coming home. We only have ten months’ worth of perfect days a year up here. I don’t want to miss a single one.