How do we find home? What makes a Californian?

July 13, 2021

CalifornianThis question is current for me, as I start to look ahead, further out than I’ve ever looked.

Looking through a telescope at the far horizon seems to be a function of aging. As my California circle gets smaller and smaller and my global circle larger, the question comes up: Where do I really belong?

The answer isn’t simple.

My husband would be more than happy living full-time in our small second home in our hometown. He IS and always has been a Rochesterian, the place embossed upon him like a brand, even when he purported to hate it.  Home, it says.

I called no place “home”

Me? Not so much. The place passed over me. Not like the plague, exactly, but it never did touch me in that way. I do love being there some of the time, but it’s never been home. Not even when I was too young to understand I had choices and that I could call someplace else home.

No, even then, I called no place home.

Not Tallahassee, Fla. or Tampa, Fla., both places I lived for significant periods of time.

No.

But, as it turns out, I DID find home.

California is home and I am…a Californian.

And yet, attrition eats away at the human things that make California home. Loving friends. Fun companions. People I can count on. Some have died, some moved and some have simply moved on.

Can I replace them? I’m not so sure. History is an important bond and that takes time to build. Time that I may not have at my age. Older age is a time to relax at home, to bask in home. But what about when those last loved ones are gone? Will California still be home?

And so I ask myself, could I really live anywhere else? And what does it mean to be a Californian?

How does one describe a very personal intangible? Oh, I know, poets and other writers have done so. But I haven’t found the words, not yet.

I can say that I click with nature…. and the mores and the attitudes… and the openness of minds … and the beauty….

Click.

That doesn’t even begin to explain it.

But

Click.

It’s a California thing for me, that click.

It’s too late to find that click anywhere else.

It whispers “California.”

It will never whisper anything else.

 

 

5 comments on “How do we find home? What makes a Californian?
  1. Diane says:

    It’s a wonderful thing when you find your place. It just seeps into your bones and becomes a part of you, doesn’t it?! Milk River, Alberta will always be that for me. I lived there only for the first 19 years of my life and, let’s face it, I’ve lived for a LOT more years outside it, but it will always be ‘home’ to me!

  2. Laurie Stone says:

    I can see you in California easily — the open lifestyle, the beautiful terrain, the progressive parts of the state. Wherever you go, hope you’re happy.

  3. Betty says:

    As a fellow Californian, I can relate. But for me, I’ve never lived anywhere else.

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Here you’ll find my blog, some of my essays, published writing, and my solo performances. There’s also a link to my Etsy shop for healing and grief tools offered through A Healing Spirit.

 

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