This 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.
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….
That doesn’t even begin to explain it.
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.