Wednesday, October 24, 2012

California Love & Freedom

Driving up the 101 from a weekend spent in Irvine for Far West, following the Presidential debate and the Giants game on my Twitter feed, I reflected anew on how incredibly grateful I am to have grown up and still live in California. As we made our way north, from the beaches to the 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 how fortunate I felt have lived amid diversity and varied lifestyles, freedom of speech and choice, and general encouragement for finding and expressing one's voice, and that I generally experience this on a daily basis.
"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. And 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.  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 expression there is...and — mistakenly — thought it was that way everywhere. 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. I'm glad I get to inform myself and to vote. I very much hope you are too.

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