Driving up the 101 from a weekend spent in Irvine California for Far West, following the Presidential debate and the Giants game on my Twitter Feed, I reflected anew on how incredibly grateful I grew up and still live in California.
As we made our way north from the beaches to agricultural fields and rolling hills of the Central Coast, the Giants were winning and the debate… was giving me pause.
My renewed gratitude for growing up in California wasn’t completely about the game. It was about appreciating how fortunate I was to be living amid diversity and lifestyles and freedom of speech and choice and general encouragement for finding and expressing one’s voice I experience on a daily basis.
Living in the Bay Area most of my life, I’ve been privy not only to beaches and mountains, but exposed to seemingly every color, denomination and mode of creative expression there is…and — mistakenly — thought it was that way everywhere.
“This is the best place there is,” my dad, a WWII vet and native of San Francisco, used to tell me. Of course, I didn’t believe him for many years, until I’d traversed much of the globe, and lived in a different state, double-checking for myself.
So, California has always found me circling back. Its varied physical beauty, is of course a major draw, but the varied terrain reflects an equally diverse population I’ve come to expect.
And I realize I so often take this for granted when the precariousness of our rights is highlighted by the gravity of what’s at stake during an election.
Especially, it seems, this one.