When I started college it seemed like everyone I met was from Massachusetts, New York or California. While the rest of us were busy quietly appreciating our hometowns or trying on Boston pride for size, the aforementioned folks wouldn’t let you forget how great their states were in comparison. The Californians were by far the worst. “It’s so cold!” “It’s so flat!” “California has so much natural beauty…” On and on they went for four years. The Midwesterner in me proudly proclaimed to love all four seasons. I could never imagine trading a crisp and colorful fall day or the magic of the first snowfall for endless days of sun and evergreen trees. But then I moved to San Francisco… At first I cursed the chilly June days and missed the sweltering summer sun, the refreshing burst of air conditioned breeze when entering buildings and the first red and gold leaves littering the streets. January first came and I spent the afternoon at the beach. Every time I went for a drive or explored the city on my bike, a new, stunning vista popped out from behind a row of beautiful Edwardians. Four years later I wake up every morning aware that I watch the sunrise with little more than a light jacket on. I can spend Valentine’s Day in a park with a tank top on. I can camp under the stars in November. I am so grateful for the natural beauty that surrounds me. Purple mountains majesty indeed! And that means, I owe someone an apology:
You were right. Thank you for embracing me.
Your Fellow Californian
Photo Credit: Emily Baum