As usual, when we face the end of our wonderful winter hiatus in the US, I am filled with a mixture of feelings that inevitably accompany me when we make the transition back to Sweden. It's not that I hate returning to my life, not at all. I am excited about seeing our friends, returning to our beloved church, nestling back into our beautiful home and hugging our darling dog. But I must also admit that being in California awakens a deep part of my soul, my history, my childhood, and my love of all things warm and beautiful. My folks don't live where I grew up anymore having traded the proximity to the amazing California coastline in the city of Orange for the wild and varied ecosystem of the desert in Palm Springs about 23 years ago. And as much as I love the ocean and a sandy beach, the desert landscape has found its place deep within my heart.
For some reason I wake up extraordinarily early out here, which I love because there are fewer things that are finer than watching the day break over the mountains. The park where my parents live is surrounded by mountains and towering palms and seeing the morning sun paint the horizon with splashes of color that defy the imagination is a breathtaking way to start the day. Additionally, just outside the back door of the house, a prolific grapefruit tree yields its delicious crop in unending ways. Every morning I simply walk out the back door, pick a good looking piece of fruit off the tree and eat it up. What a gift it is to be able to pick and eat one's own fruit every day for a few months each winter!
So today, our last full day in this desert paradise, I enjoyed seeing the day break one last time, I will sit in the sun seeking to lodge in my memory the incredible feeling of the sun hitting my skin, and savor the pleasure of hanging out with my mom and dad. This trip has been a gift of refreshment, a total change of climate, a visual palette that differs so greatly from the also beautiful in a totally different way than our home town coupled with deep and abiding moments of family time that we treasure above all else.
The good news for us is a return to this area in June. I just hope that once we land across the pond on Tuesday morning winter doesn't hang on too long.