What a grand homecoming it was on our first day back from California! I think I am crying harder now when I have to say goodbye to my family, so the peace and serenity of home is more soothing than ever. The kitties were still here–Gary is out there on the end of the dock, and Chatpeau was at my feet as I took this photo. The white buoy, waiting for its sailboat, didn’t get torn away in the winds. All was well on the home front for our return.
It was quite a shock to be in full-on blooming in Berkeley. After their record rain this winter, roses and hollyhocks were everywhere, pink and red and purple amidst the green-green grass and trees, and the pale pink magnolias. The California poppies blanketed the hillsides. And, there was that amazing scent each morning of Night-blooming Jasmine. I ended up taking the daily allergy pill, which everyone in the household popped in their mouths, before school and work each day.
But, on the first day of being home, there were noticeable incremental changes in our long, slow unfolding of Spring. Forsythia were in bloom on my morning run and some of the daffodils had opened their yellow blossoms. There are big green buds at the tops of the bushes, where they capture the most light. Burger Town has removed the “Closed for the Season” sign and they have put their white picnic tables out on the deck. Even our Hutterite friend, who sets up his little farmer’s market on Fridays, in front of the car wash, showed up. He had set up his table, next to a white-sided panel truck, and when I drove by in the rain, I could see him sitting inside the truck in a folding lawn chair, eating a bowl of something, most likely, hot soup. He was wearing his customary black suit and hat, with a blue shirt, like he always wears in the summer. I could see big bags of carrots on the table, but I can’t imagine what else could be ready for sale so early in the season. The first time Don stopped by the farm stand, years ago, the farmer said, in his German accent, “What can I help you with, my friend?” So, we try to never miss an opportunity to buy something from his little stand of produce, including, the best spicy pickles, come August, you could ever imagine.
There is nothing but rain icons in the forecast for the days ahead. That’s what we expect for this final week of April, into May, into June. But, there will be those breaks, like this sunset, and the little daily signs of a new season, to keep our hopes and spirits high. Yep, it’s nice to be home.