The weather has improved. It is a sunny and clear day here in Northern California. And I am pondering how this place has become, in some sense, home.
Not completely. Home is the Gulf Coast of Florida. Yet, if I look at things objectively, that is simply nostalgia. I would not be happy if I moved back. The weather is too hot, the politics too conservative. My brother who lives there gets frustrated with the political climate that he finds himself in.
I have lived in the Bay Area for 23 years, longer than I have lived anywhere else. (It would have been 24, but we spent a year in Northern Virginia.) I have friends here, ties of memory – joy and pain. My children were born here, and are Californians through and through. I will probably die here.
So, if people's voices don't have quite the slow softness I was accustomed to in the South, they still have interesting things to say. So the beaches are not sugar-white sand. They still have waves cresting upon them. It is a matter of finding and enjoying where you are. Whatever led me to this area – fate, destiny, Stanford – I could have ended up somewhere much, much worse.
So, here's to you, Bay Area. Thanks for the wonderful weather and the progressive politics. Thanks for really wonderful Asian and Mexican food (and I know good barbecue and Caribbean joints). Thank you for the wild Pacific Ocean that lies a mere hour away, its glorious waves crashing along picture postcard shores.
You're not Florida, but that is probably a good thing.