Sunday, May 29, 2011


I grew up in the midwest, on the banks of the Mississippi. I identify with Mark Twain, Garrison Keillor, casseroles, impossibly humid summer days and the agony of lawn mowing. I am not talking about the cute little square lawns of California, flat and perfect. I am talking about steep banks with run-away mowers, and the miracle of never having lost any toes during my weekly mow-for-allowance.

Sometimes we visit there, and it feels home-like.

But here, northern coastal California, is home. Every time I think about leaving I get drawn back in by the trees and the beach and the eucalyptus perfume which is best just after a rain. Friends have told me not to let nature seduce my thinking about such things as professional positions and places to settle down. But the church that is my back yard, with tiny-by-comparison (yet splendid) third growth redwoods, feeds my soul. The rivers aren't as wide and mighty as the old Miss', but they have this aqua minty color and names like "Eel" and "Mad" and "Trinity". This time of year, the farms are productive, with tender buttery lettuce and small but serious strawberries. There is something in bloom everywhere. And the grass hasn't yet lost the green--our reward for a long, wet winter.

I did not feel like running today. But it was long run day, and all the experts say if you are going to skip a day, don't make it the long run day. I was still jet lagged from night shifts. The wind was gusty. The coffee comforting. The crossword puzzle called.

But I ran 12 miles. And it was pretty nice. Then I came home. Which was also pretty nice.

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