Coming home from my recent trip to Arizona had me feeling passionate about where I live. Once we reached California during the flight and I started seeing snow covered mountains, evergreen trees, lakes, rivers, fields of food being grown, I felt home.
More than once on our trip I mentioned to my husband how incredibly lucky we are to live where we do. I also wondered if people who come visit the Redwoods up north ever say things like, "Meh, you've seen one Redwood tree, you've seen them all." Or - "If I never see another Redwood tree it will be too soon." This was how I felt about cactus for sure. But I know there are people who think the desert is beautiful. People who feel the desert speaks to them the way the Pacific coast and the ocean speak to me.
I have so much access to so many things just two hours from our front door depending on which direction we go:
Boating & fishing
All of this and not to mention all the agriculture. Strawberries grown around the corner from my house. I purchase 10 pound bags of oranges grown 20 miles away. Eggs from our neighbors. Plums across the street from our house. All the orchards of almonds and walnuts and thousands of acres of olive trees giving us incredibly delicious locally grown olive oil.
We are blessed. It's not that I've never realized this. I've biked from Northern California to Southern California twice now. On day 2 of ALC, when we reach the beginning of acres of strawberry fields, riders will stop and jump off their bikes and go running over to them. They want their picture taken. They want to pluck fruit and eat it right there. I'm sad to admit I chuckled both years when I saw this. Silly me - it never occurred to me some of them might not have ever seen food being grown on the ground.
Or the day when we come upon giant fields of gorgeous wildflower fields with orange, yellow, pink, and purple flowers. I heard other riders gasp - bikes all strewn along the side of the road while riders jumped into the field to marvel at it. Me? Just kept on going...the community garden across the street from my house looks like that quite often.
So much that some of us in California probably take for granted. Lessons learned. Reasons I need to get back to a regular riding schedule.