Monday, May 13, 2013

Leaving California For Good

My Mom at the beach early 60's
Every moment is as unique as a snowflake and will not be repeated.

In the early 80's we were in San Diego, California one summer visiting my grandparents and cousins when I was 11. It was a trip full of family and new experiences like bonfires, beach volleyball, big Pacific waves, and the golden-warm sun of Southern California. People there camped on weekends all year round and took their family Christmas pictures in shorts. My feathered hair kept it's curl and we were told when playing outside not to go too far because of  Mexican workers hiding in the fields behind my grandparent's house. The highway was 8 lanes wide, twice the size of Nebraska's highways.

I didn't know it then but it was one of the best trips of my young life. I realized this only upon reflection months and years later. I began to wonder why I didn't know how fabulous the trip was while I was on it. Why I appreciated it so much after it was over not while I was taking the evening walks on the beach. I wanted the chance to do it again so I could appreciate it more as it was happening.

This has been an experience I have weighed over the years. I've slowly been learning to breathe, taste and feel the life of a moment right when it happens. I know how to recognize better when they are going to happen. Like 10 years ago for my dad's 70th birthday all of my siblings and I gave him a surprise visit for a few days at his lake house. I told myself how special times like these are because they may never happen again. Even if they do it will never be just like this. I remind myself,
This is it!
Enjoy it now!

It's confusing a little because in the movies important moments are often made so grandiose and obvious. In life I have often tried to imitate art where I was sure it couldn't be a memorable time without a drunken night of shenanigans. It had to be crazy and loud to count. This is not the case but I had to figure that out s l o w l y. For years I also thought there will always be a Thanksgiving or another holiday together. I took a lot of time for granted because I thought things wouldn't ever change. Well my illusion that there is a perpetual suspension of time has tapped on my shoulder and said it's time to leave California. And as my parents (and everyone)get older I hope to feel the life in as many moments as I can. Isn't it beautiful!


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