California in Winter

We’re on your shore again, I can feel the ocean. I can feel your open arms, like pure emotion. I’m finally free again, by my own explosion…

With sand still in my pockets (and underwear if we’re being honest), I stepped off a plane a couple days ago going from 65° to a balmy -12° in the apparent frozen tundra of Colorado. I had an AMAZING time in California, which included my cousin’s Bar Mitzvah and Disneyland. The happiest place on earth! YOU CAN FLYY you can fly YOU CAN FLYYYY! Oh, and so much good food. I had great food days. Our hotel in Encinitas was right by a coffee shop called Pannikin’s, and we had the most delicious, giant, hardy, homemade raspberry and pumpkin walnut muffins. We also had some street tacos with pineapple and guacamole, coast-side pizza, and the best part? A candy buffet at Ethan’s Bar Mitzvah. A. Candy. Buffet. What? Were my eyes deceiving me? Whatever amount of candy you could shove into a bag (and your hat, and your cup, or in Josh’s case, a giant cardboard box) was what you could take. My lovely aunt Holly had yummy food at her house too (ya know, the good food kind of made up for the stab in the heart from the Superbowl… but I won’t bring up that sour topic 🙂 My cuzzies’ living room is an actual pinball machine arcade. They have like 5 old school pinball machines just in their living room. It’s quite beautiful I must say. And so are they. (My family I mean).

I was born in California and spent my first years there, so maybe I have some saltwater still pumping inside of me. But I love the ocean. I mean, who doesn’t? It’s so striking. It ignites this weird spark in you, and it tells you life is SO much more than your land-locked dreams that get trapped inside society’s concrete box.

The ocean dreams in motion. Every soul, every fault, and every hope we hide deep down are bubbles that float around and swirl and get lost in the great abyss. My heart is made of raindrops that gush out of my smile when I close my eyes and surrender to the wonder. The fish swim by and carry my bubbles as my lungs gulp the salty air. The ocean breathes possibility. On the way other side, if I stretch my arm further and further, I can touch the other side of the world. The ocean invites me to be invincible.

I’m enchanted by the fact that in a world this big and crazy and demanding, there’s a God who’s greater. There’s a God who commands the waves to crash and the tides to roll in. (I like to imagine him blowing on the water from heaven and creating those waves, like little ripples). This same God cares about ME, my quirky, imperfect, anxious self. In fact, He smiles at my imperfections, cause He’s got a plan for them.

Another bullet point to add to the list of reasons why travel is so wonderful is flying there. (Okay, if the flight isn’t very bumpy and you have a window seat). Flying so high above everyone else makes me feel infinite, like I could float away and never come back. Like I can swim in the sky. I can pick up the little toy pieces of our world and rearrange them however I want. The moving cars on the spaghetti highways, the teeny houses, and little blue dots for the pools. Then at night, way up in the sky, the city lights are only holes that someone poked through black paper, and if I unglued the ground and took it away a blinding light would burst out and set the world on fire. What makes our daily worries multiply in size, what makes them grow exponentially every waking moment, when they can easily be pulled away? The world wants us to worry. The oxygen is saturated with worries. But when I’m so high in the air, I can swish away the filthy oxygen with my fingers and fabricate a different life than the one I live. People’s dreams are real, not artificial play toys that I can move around up in a plane. The people far below, sleeping as I fly, posses dangerous, beautiful, and exasperating dreams. Yearning dreams. Nightmarish dreams. Dreams that make us want to stay alive, and dreams that make us want the opposite. All these dreams float up into the black sky and swirl around, conducting a blended symphony of longing and grace.

There’s beauty in stepping outside of your own little world for a while. (Or maybe running away). While I was in California, the city and the beach enthralled me and sparked my dreams again. The ocean sucked me into it’s enchanting enthusiasm that inspired so many (Emily Dickinson even… I started early, took my dog, and visited the sea, the mermaids in the basement came out to look at me)

I love California. Everything about the cities, the beach, the people. Maybe I ate some sand when I was living there as a little kid, but I feel at home. Like the ocean wants to lick my feet and drown my worries.

And let’s not forget about Disneyland! We had a blast when we went. Always go in February on a Monday, because the longest line we waited in was like 20 minutes max. I got way more excited than what is socially acceptable (LOOK IT’S PETER PAN MAMA PETER PAN LOOOOOK) and sang to my heart’s desire (kick your knees up step in time, KICK YOUR KNEES UP STEP IN TIME) And of course being with my awesome cousins made me uber happy yaaaa!!! And Camryn loved it. We went on Space Mountain like four times. It’s really hard for me to say what my favorite thing at Disneyland is. Because really, that’s like asking if I like breathing. But, if I HAD to say, I’d say Space Mountain just cause it’s awesome, but I love Pirates of the Caribbean, Peter Pan, and, yes, the Tiki Room. It’s a happy place. ~Let’s all sing like the birdies sing, tweet tweet tweet tweet tweet~

Also, going to a Bar Mitzvah was a brand new experience. First of all, Jewish people can truly make music. The rhythms made me want to dance, and even though I understood none of the Hebrew, I wanted to sing along. I’m proud of my cuzzy for memorizing those chants! (seriously, it’s kind of insane) I can also tell he’s maturing. Becoming more responsible. I know he’s going places.

Now that I’m back in the -3 degree tundra, (I might as well move to Antarctica. At least there’s penguins) my memories of saltwater are making me smile. God is so good. I can have a perfectly sunny day with no actual sun in sight! Maybe someone is flying over me in a plane tonight, looking down and wondering what I’m dreaming of. Well, I’m pretty sure my mind will be like an 80’s movie, just me in a cute love story with the sea and no iphones. Also some singing to classic Disney songs. I hope your dreams that float in the night sky are full of wonder and make you happy. And if not, I hope they’ll dissolve in the night air, and that the sea will carry them far, far away.

Here’s some pictures of our trip. Dream away.

 “Tiny E” is a teenager now?!

I had to… 🙂

I am restless, I run like the ocean to find your shore, looking for you. Switchfoot


3 thoughts on “California in Winter

  1. I've never been to California, have always wanted to go! How awesome that you got to spend some time doing ocean therapy, it's my favorite 🙂 The candy bar sounds crazy-amazing, too! We've shown the kids a few YouTube videos of Space Mountain and they've been begging to go–someday. Glad you had such a great trip!

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