Freedom and Fullness

Driving back up on the 5, I heard a song erupting in the meadows. The windows were down and the air was heavy with the scent of wildflowers. I’d been driving long, winding single lane country roads for forty miles, these long expanses of California farmland, green as far as the eye could see. And I swear, I could have heard singing.

What did I do to deserve this? I’m moved into West LA now – not far from the hustle of Hollywood, the glamour of Beverly Hills. I confess I tried to avoid it at first, wishing to be home most of the time and bracing myself for the slog of the I-10, the oppressive desert heat. And yet…

To my surprise, I’ve found bits and pieces of home here. Wandering, meandering hills. Cool mornings (at least in coastal Santa Monica). A workplace that I enjoy, and coworkers I really, really like. And the cherry on top: I’m able to bike everywhere.

There is a sense of release here. I’m starting over new, and for someone who loves to feel planted and rooted, it’s a little disorienting at first. But with the openness of space and time, I’m finding that this is the right place for me to be right now.

I look forward to meeting Annie after her classes, catching up over the day, sharing a meal and a boba drink (or two). I like watching her scrunch her nose and hearing her talk about her students. Debating in the car over the merits of Kendrick Lamar and Tupac, or the politics of education. Or maybe, to a lesser degree, the absolute freedom to be silly and let dumb remarks fly.

I enjoy early morning runs with various running groups here; learning the landscape and its topography. I like feeling strong climbing a ridge or opening the throttle down San Vicente Boulevard.

I like that as I’m preparing for a life together with Annie, I only get a stronger sense that I am seen and accepted.

I wish this place felt like home, and I’m still slightly in between two places. Home is Oakland and the Regeneration family, or home is being with my sisters and parents, or home is with Annie, I’m not sure.

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