Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Songs to Live By: Decemberists - California One /Youth and Beauty Brigade

While moving away from Los Angeles definitely had it's benefits (home ownership, Grandma Louise), there are definitely days I miss it. Growing up, aside from the fact that my Aunt Carol lived there, I could see no reason to even visit California, yet through a twist of fate I ended up at Cal Arts for graduate school in 2001.

We lived there for almost six years. We grew two babies, made friends, ate delicious food, hiked the mountains, sat on beaches, saw a few B list celebrities, but my favorite memory is driving down highway 1 on the fourth of July. The sun set just as the highway hit the beach. There were people camped out on the beach shooting fireworks out over the ocean. Sylvia was sleeping in the backseat and Scott and I quietly took it all in.

There are so many little unexpected things about Los Angeles that I miss. Hazy layers of city stacked against the hills, mountains hugging the edges, full of people from all over the world where a person can eventually find anything they should wish. It's a longing I never thought I'd be capable of feeling for a gigantic monster like Los Angeles.

I fought the urge to romanticize California (truly it is not in my nature to romanticize ANYTHING) yet anytime I hear someone singing about California my heart swells and my sappy side shows. Iowa is where we'll stay, but for some reason, it's these quiet drizzly days (the days I liked the most in Los Angeles) that remind me that we've left.

1 comment:

carol said...

Lara I finally saw this post. So sweet. I know that melancholy for a place. For years after I left Cambridge Mass. I felt that way. Selfishly I'm glad you have those memories of LA.