Thursday, January 31, 2008


Today we will do ourselves some talking about the great state of California. Why? Well, for starters, I plan to elaborate on my love and/or hatred for the states in alphabetical order. Being that I have written about Arizona and I have not been to Arkansas, it is California's turn. Additionally, I am leaving in about three hours to shoot the breeze with my home state. (Amen! Praise and Glory!)

I know what you're thinking. Haven't I already said all there is to say about California? Not in a million years, my friend. We determined that Arizona has heat and mosquitos and, well, thankfully, The Grand Canyon (to redeem its sorry soul*) Where Arizona is lacking in things you must see before you die, California is thriving.

California is made up of 163,696 square miles. And I'd be lying if I said that I love 'em all. Truthfully, a great number of these miles are icky desert and Central Valley. But it's fine. I forgive California for having such topography because some of her miles are the Redwoods, Yosemite, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe (Yes, Nevada, I realize you share that one), The Sequoias, Mammoth, San Diego, Hollywood, Crescent City and the list goes on and on.

There is such a relief and a joy in knowing that your dreams are not landlocked. I cannot describe the peace I felt in looking out at a watery horizon that never ended. Just the knowledge that my ultimate wishes could bob up and down in that vast ocean was enough. Even if they didn't come true, they were free to swim forever, because I lived on an edge.

California has the ocean and the mountains and the desert and the forest, all rolled into one great state. I can't think of much in terms of recreation that couldn't be accomplished within her borders. You couldn't climb Mt. Everest or swim in the Everglades (Question: Do people actually swim in the Everglades? I've never been to Florida but it seems to me that what with all the alligators, you just wouldn't take the chance.) but those are about the only things I can think of. If you need your leaves to change colors to be happy, drive north. The autumn may not be as gorgeous as a New England fall but you'll see colors. If you need snow, not a problem. Sun, definitely available. And Spring, in California, the world seems just a little cleaner, a little more holy in the Spring.

I suggest a visit. Even if The Golden State is not your idea of permanent residence, just take a moment out of your life to see her. Stand in wonder of the Redwoods. I dare you to deny God's existence once you have. Hike to a waterfall in Yosemite. Walk the streets of Hollywood Blvd and see if you don't feel alive with a thousand dreams and endless possibilities. Sit on the shores of Tahoe. Let the cold mountain water lick your toes and imagine God commanding the Sierras into being. Catch a wave in San Diego. Feel the sun soaking into your every pore. Walk the streets. Breathe the air. It's somehow different there, somehow simultaneously exuding freedom and protection.

*The author of this blog does not believe that The Grand Canyon can save souls. Nor does she think that Arizona actually has a soul. She maintains that the only entity capable of saving souls is the Lord.

1 comment:

  1. Riverside made it on the map!!! Woo hoo! That doesn't often happen. Also, I agree, I don't think people SHOULD swim in the Everglades unless they are hoping for a disguised suicide, however once when I was on an air boat ride in them, the driver asked if anyone would like to get out to get a cool picture, and on that boat full of sane, safe, reasonable people, my dad hopped out into knee deep water and walked about 15 feet away to get a picture looking like he was standing alone in the middle of the Everglades. So that still doesn't say that people SWIM in them, because he didn't, but it was still crazy, and I was really nervous.