Last weekend as I pictured a destination a friend and I were headed to, I imagined long green grass and the opportunity to use my picnic blanket. There isn't too much grass in California. The location had no grass, just dirt. I'm left thinking some days -- when I have the time to think of grass and plants and study the landscape -- how much I wish I knew what the plants and trees were called. As I think about the transition of the last month, I realize it's all felt very natural and calm. Emotionally things have been steady and predictable, I've just moved from point A to point B to C and so on throughout the day, week and month and the decisions have happened naturally. Knowing I needed a new setting and challenge seem to add to the general ease of adjustment. I love and miss New Hampshire, and have found I truly am homesick for the summers, lakes, sounds, sunsets, traditions and people there, but I was prepared for and was seeking this change. The days here are very different, the weather and lack of bugs still baffles me. Cars are common. My work is 7 miles from my home and with my car recording the average speed of each trip, I've found I average 15 - 18 mph on my morning commute. The moments with new friends, out walking along the ocean or talking or laughing somewhere have felt familiar to other friendships, warm and welcoming and kind. When driving, there are so many beautiful ocean views seen from the highways or from secondary roads that now with the summer fog disappearing -- are incredible to see. It's on the new roads and routes though with a surprise view of Monterey Bay and the bright turquoise or dark blue ocean when I'm reminded of why this is right for now. Driving home at night too, among the darkness of a navy sea that seems to stretch west forever, to streetlights with a golden glow, to tall, unfamiliar trees with barks and needles I've never seen, remind me of the calm and comforting moments that exist in even unfamiliar places. There's a tree I spend a minute or so under most mornings while at a stoplight. It has bright yellow leaves and crunchy brown leaves lining the ground above its roots. I don't know what the seasons hold here, and am mostly assured that there are no seasons, but the tree reminds me of fall in New England and in that traffic, I feel for a moment that I'm in Massachusetts. Then I look around at the other trees and it looks like no where I've seen before.
Ending last Sunday was a week-long stretch of car shows on the peninsula. Some of the shows were fancier than others, but the amount of vintage cars seen around town was quite fun and made up for the added congestion. The most unexpected sight was a bright red double-decker London bus. I noticed a show near my home and as the cars were being packed away on Sunday afternoon, I parked my own car far enough away (so it wouldn't be packed away in a truck... ;) ) to see these cars up close.
Along the coast in Pacific Grove.