And I was in love with it. Well, I still am, but it’s not her place anymore. She got a divorce, and had to sell.
Matt and I had an official camping spot among the oaks.
We’d always stay out here, even in winter, when it was 40 degrees, raining, and there was a warm house right up the hill.
She had a fire pit outside, and cats and dogs and chickens and horses, and once a turkey named Tuk Tuk, who was eaten by coyotes. She raised her daughter there. I can’t tell you how many Thanksgivings we celebrated in her home.
She had 20 acres of rolling oak grasslands. A seasonal stream ran through it, and you couldn’t see the neighbors’ houses from her front door.
When I walked here, I felt absolutely at peace. We owned it, it was part of us. No one could come and chase me away or show me the list of rules or look at me disparagingly because I didn’t belong here. I’ve hiked some, and I’ve rarely walked on land I thought more beautiful. Scorching California oak grasslands, their orange poppies and honeyed foxtail, are the landscape of my heart. We spent our summers in them, growing up, and some of my happiest memories live in long, golden California moments, oak shade, wild grasses waving in the wind.
I will never ever forget or stop missing the beautiful place I was privileged to consider home for so many years. Thank you, sis, for sharing it with me.