Posts tagged california
Ten.Four Hundred & Thirty-Three

1. Nerves and excitement in the dappled sunlight.  

2. Belgian waffle with whipped cream and strawberries. I pull a Leslie Knope and ask for another serving of whipped cream. Coffee in a diner mug. 

3. At least I know I am employable.  

4. I stop and grab some flowers from Trader Joe’s. She asks me if I’m visiting. I get to say, “yes! But I’m moving here soon!” 

5. I know where I am. 

6. Her and her belly and mint tea in the most perfect mug.  

7. We’re not going to regret it.  

8. The evening winds are beginning to blow and they furious and cool. I watch the leaves shake and fall.  

9. Of course our server was born and raised here and he loves it. He suggests Panama Bay Coffee in downtown Livermore.  

10. It’s bustling tonight. The guys at the coffee shop make us lattes and give us suggestions on lunch for the next day. And before we leave they welcome us to the neighborhood.  

10.1 A 24-hour donut shop. We split a hot glazed donut and sit on a park bench. Eyes full. 

Ten.Forty-Five

1. The last morning.  

2. You guys are local, right? 

3. We hope to be soon, we say. Order two more english muffins, double-toasted with butter, and blackberry jam.

4. I meet her at Bouchon Bakery and order a croissant and a large coffee. We talk a little bit of business, of children, of writing.

5. Gather all the things and bring them back down to the car. My bag has a large seed cone, some feathers, a piece of driftwood, vine skeletons, and a coffee mug.  

6. My first barrel sample and it's given to me by my favorite winemaker. She says the guys didn't take to the haiku idea. I learn that the seeds of the grapes will taste like toasted almonds when ripe.  

7. I could have stayed there all day looking at The Palisades. 

8. Tyler.  

9. The light on the vines. Been here three times before and this is the first time I've seen the vines full of leaves and grapes, drip irrigation in action.  

10. My boots are so dusty.  

The Thin Place
In thin places, we become our more essential selves.
— Eric Weiner

I don't always do a good job of explaining why I've become so attached to northern California. I mean, it's beautiful. Beyond beautiful, really. The air is clean and fresh. The color of the tomatoes brings tears to my eyes. I remember the one time, while walking down the street in St. Helena, how an orange rolled under the car. And I remember the way the soles of my converse conversed with the fallen olives, soft and hard.

California is where everything within me stills and the only voice I can here is my own. The only breath I'm aware of is my own. There is space for me there. Perhaps it's because I spend most of my time in the shadow of the mountains, deep in the valley, in awe of the way the sun rises and sets against the mountain peaks.

And so I share with you just a few of my moments from this past March, when the air was both warm and cool and the wild mustard bent in the breeze.