In the past 24 hours my youngest sister and family made it home to Iowa in what was supposed to be a 3 hour tour, I mean a 4 hour flight, but quickly morphed into one of those all-nighter/early-next-morning nightmares during which time the stock market did weird acrobatics, my kitten piddled on his kitten toys and my older sister’s family dog passed on as my son and I hit frozen-anthill-traffic on our journey North–to the same city in which the family dog passed and my youngest sister left for IA and here there are no piddling kittens in residences, but strictly reviving breezes—and children playing with their Space toys on doorsteps at 5pm, doors open wide, A/C not a factor because we’re just too close to the sea and everyone’s pointing out the pink/purple mountains flanking this place and speaking of vital events like the passing of family dogs (wine is required here) and the state of America’s airlines and the best roadside stands for purchasing organic vegetables–and I’m so glad to be here, where I learn so much and remember vitals, like my older sister holding her dog shortly after doggy was given to her, that smoochy little puppy squirming in her arms, that golden ball of love, where I remember growing up on the beach, the same one I show to my son, where you can walk through sycamore forests to view the millions of monarch butterflies resting, where you can sit on a cliff overlooking that ongoing ocean, sit on a perfectly placed log and breathe in life and remember good, really, really good dogs and how lucky we are to have known them.
And, okay, maybe ask me about the difference between my valley’s densely layered, beat-your-fists-into-it silence and this city’s simple night-owl’s shush. And ask me why it’s easier to write up here, even when solo-parenting. Oh! Excuse me–another frisky breeze from the ocean, another whiff of mountain chaparral, another sip of wine, another wave breaking, another beach day tomorrow. Ask me why!