I don’t miss anything about California. I was finished with it long before I moved away. But, there is one thing, and when I see it in a photo I feel yearning, sorrow, loss and love — nostalgia. It is the light at the end of the day, coming across the ocean, reaching inland. The slanting rose and golden tones touched everything.
I did not notice it when I lived there, though I did a lot of hikes in the late afternoon into darkness, and I spent some time on hilltops watching the sun set over the ocean. For many years I drove home from school in this light, and when I lived in the mountains, I saw this light hit the distant hills with orange/pink as I headed east toward home. I took many walks on the beach in this light, cooked burgers for the kids in this light. I wrapped up art projects in my garage in this light. I got dressed to go out in this light. Walked to my car in this light. Wandered around Old Town in this light.
It meant nothing to me then, this light.
P.S. The photo above is of my friend, Chris Bava (RIP). Behind him is the wall between Tijuana and the San Diego metro area. Each of the crosses you see here represents a person who died trying to get over the wall. Chris lived in Playas de Tijuana with his wife, Cat.