An east coast friend remarked on the “touchy-feely” nature of my recent blogs. And maybe that’s a reflection of my status. Because at some point two years ago, I crossed over an invisible line– I have now lived in California longer than I have NOT lived in California. Which I figure makes me officially a Californian. The other day I even posted some photos to salute the beauty of our coast.
I know lots of people who wake up every day, and look outside at California and say “What a glorious day it is!” –and really mean it. I am NOT one of those people. Maybe I’m too snarky for that kind of remark. Maybe I’m spoiled since so many days are boringly glorious. But in any case, I am perfectly capable of waking up and looking outside on a glorious day…and ignoring it.
I might not make a fuss over its glory, but I do enjoy the great outdoors, usually on a walk or a hike. I’ve failed to convince V to join me, since his kind of walk involves a bag of clubs and 18 holes. But you know how it is when someone else suggests the exact same thing your spouse suggests, and suddenly it’s a great idea? That is how V and I ended up on a hike today with another couple.
This very rare occurrence felt like a mini-vacation. Or my third retreat in one week. And it turned out to be a glorious day in every way–the weather, the hike, the conversation, being with such good friends. It was perfect. The kind of day you can have year round only in California.
There was one other aspect of today that is also unique to this part of the world. Near the top of the uphill climb, I felt a little dizzy. Not only am I in the worst shape of the four of us, but I was also doing the most talking. So I stepped off the trail and sat down in the shade. After a few minutes, my friend came back, so I could join her and start downhill. As I stood up, she looked down and remarked, “Isn’t that poison oak you were sitting in?”
I think I’ve made it clear that I don’t notice details. Details like the appearance of the plant I was sprawled in—which grows only in California and the west coast. Like poison oak, my kids are native Californians. They were taught to spot it, and Daniel has had some nasty episodes. I’ve never had it…..so far. And if I wake up in the morning without a rash, I might finally look out at my adopted state and say “What a glorious day it is!” And really mean it. Wish me luck.