January 22, 2008 From L.A. I twisted north through the Grapevine, narrowly missing the fourth snowstorm of the week. When I arrived at the house of my mom's friend I couldn't see the ocean but I could smell it, I could feel it, and I could hear it. Maybe first impressions really are everything.
Santa Cruz is the one place I've returned to more times than I've left. Ten years later I'm in the same friend's house, though now she's my friend and we're in a different house down the street. Like that first night I will fall asleep listening to the waves, inhaling a mixture of gratitude, awe, and anxiety. "I love it here SO MUCH! Nancy is so freaking good to me. Gosh those seals are cute. I hope there isn't an earthquake. What would happen in a tsunami? Could I ever afford to live here?"
I come from a different shore, where we're raised to worry. But I've learned to trust the tide and by the time I exhale the waves will have worked their magic and I'll be drifting off to sleep....
Thank you, Nancy. Good night, all.