I think that we all have a place that calls us home when our spirits are in need of renewal.
California is my spirit land. There are not many places that I feel deep in my soul, but smelling the dry oak and pine, a cool breeze floating down from the foothills as golden light from the springtime sun lays gently upon an upturned face and heart….yes, I feel this place in my soul. Yes, my dear parents are here as well, and home will always be where they are.
But there is a sort of magic present here. Poppies burn in red and gold patches along the freeways and are scattered along rolling hills still green from the winter. Trees tower high above with branches reaching up to embrace the cloudless sky. The green is always a shock, flying into Sacramento during the cooler months. I chatted with my seat mate as we floated through the sky, sharing this view. Both of us on a pilgrimage home to see family. From this view, I felt like a giant taken hold of a treasure box, its lid flung open to reveal a thousand shining jewels, but a closer look brings my eyes to reality. Lake Tahoe, the sapphire gleaming in this treasure box, and the Sierras, heaps of hidden gold and jade and emerald.
I couldn’t help but feel immensely lucky, to have people and a place I was longing to see. To have parents standing at the gate with outstretched arms, to know that no matter how far I travel, this remains at the center, and to know that it is neither deserved nor earned, it is simply there, given freely. Yes, stepping off the train onto the little platform, I am overcome with a deep sense of gratitude; for my family, for my kingdom, and for each hour that ticks away, beating a happy tune that accompanies everyone’s personal paradise; the here and now, the moment given its rightful recognition and effect on the human spirit. Each second that passes is the official paradise hymn. Renewal, what’s your’s?