61 reasons to love California :
Plum blossoms, wild mustard, California poppies, fennel.
The two Great Pyrenees dogs I see on my drive to the barn, and the flock of goats they patiently guard.
Sunday walks on Ocean Beach (and the brunch snacks carried from one of our favorite bakeries on the way there!).
Rain on the sound of the carport outside our bedroom window, the smell of wet earth all through the winter.
The softness of the rolling hills, the way they change from green to gold.
Old Victorian houses in all of their ornate glory.
Living so close to the ocean and smelling salt on the breeze.
Taking the ferry into San Francisco and buying chocolate bars for the ride back.
My barn community.
Weekly visits to our favorite strawberry stand during the summer.
Farmer's markets and the abundance of farm-to-table restaurants.
Picking blackberries on the roadside and the smell of sun-warmed eucalyptus.
Orb weavers, slanted golden light, rows of houses built on hills.
Humidity (though I hate that too!)
The fact that everything grows - the wild plants and the ones in my balcony garden.
Hunting for the most beautiful beach pebbles and stopping for saltwater taffy on the way home.
The cypress tunnel at Pt. Reyes.
Collecting feathers on walks through the woods with Cirrus.
Finding hidden gems in San Francisco consignment shops.
Daily sightings of deer, coyotes, turkeys, and foxes.
Gnarled oak trees and Spanish moss blowing in the wind - finding fallen acorns and carrying them home in my pockets.
The Mission district - the architecture, Pizzeria Delfina, Tartine Bakery.
Marine layer fog rolling in and chilling the air after a hot summer day.
Driving through valleys filled with vineyards, especially in autumn, and bringing home jugs of olive oil.
Fresh Meyer lemons and persimmons ripening on bare branches during the fall.
Amazing cirrus clouds, like brushstrokes swept across the sky.
The mosaic masterpiece that is the Hidden Garden steps, and views of San Francisco from Grand View park.
Red tailed hawks circling overhead - their calls ringing out from distant trees and echoing through the valley.
All of the mid-century modern antique stores - mod heaven.
Seeing great flocks of birds flying, like schools of fish, above endless rows of grapevines while wearing a t-shirt in February.
Wild nasturtium, with leaves the size of dinner plates, in Golden Gate Park.
Kayaking the Petaluma river.
Standing beneath the redwoods, feeling small and humble.
Twilight songs of red winged blackbirds.
The Golden Gate bridge (forever and always).
1 reason to love Colorado :
There’s a little house, in the town I grew up in, with our names on the title. And it’s calling us home.
California has toughened me and softened me. Thrown me down and built me up. The past two and a half years have been so full of learning and light and struggle - I can’t help but love this land fiercely. How many things have I done and tried here that I never would have dreamed I could? Uncountable. But the truth is, the studio is packed. I can’t find the grocery bags. There are kayaks in our living room. We’re moving back to Colorado.
I’ve wanted to share this news for months, to jump up and down singing it out at the top of my lungs, but I’ve been too busy holding my breath. Waiting for something to happen that would mean we had to put it all off. But as I’ve slowly packed up the bits and pieces over the past couple of days (with lots of help from my feline assistants, of course), there’s been a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. I feel like I’m headed back to my homeland with my arms wide open, while my heart brims with gratitude for all the experiences I’ve gathered on the West Coast. I’m so ready to see these new, yet oh so familiar, horizons.