Living in California provides a unique observational platform to the ever-evolving dynamics of contrasts. Being a native of the state – and residing in a decidedly non-progressive region – I will confirm there is equal measure of fascination and frustration with various segments of the citizenry. The common determinate – as always – being one’s disposition, inclinations and affiliations. Or, perhaps, it’s simply one’s level of curiosity.
But this is California. And if we look beyond the complexities of its politics, demographics and social structure, and the polarizing discourse any such conversation surely to follow will degenerate into, I am nevertheless reminded of what a truly beautiful state California remains. Looking beyond demographics, anyone who has toured it at length has witnessed its variety of topography, geographic areas and numerous climate zones. It has been and will remain a fascinating place for me to explore for many years. And yes, it helps to ignore the political infighting and ‘left coast’ cynics.
I was recently reminded of how much I enjoy my home state during one of our post-Christmas ‘wind down’ days. Wanting to escape the inland valleys and low lying fog, we drove west, towards the coast, and by sunset were walking through the streets and along the beach of Santa Cruz. Watching the sun quickly recede behind the waves, the temperature began to drop in unison, evident in the cool ocean breeze brushing across our skin. It was winter, and even the comparative warmth of an ocean current could not rebuff the cold.
Zipping into our jackets I noticed the ever changing colors as we began to slowly walk from the beach. Under the diminishing light of an evening sky, with colors rapidly transcending the comfort of warm orange and into cold blue, I was reminded of so many works from Norman Rockwell. Standing in the sand, with the ocean and boardwalk on either side of us, was for me a moment of Americana, a brief revisitation of childhood. Sometimes life is pure, simple, beautiful and absent any concern. Perfect.
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