Once a stranger, now you occupy so much of my heart with wonder.
The roar of your great ocean beneath jutted, jagged cliffs stole my breath –
with the quiet thought that my life would never be the same.
I’ve climbed mountains,
hiked miles through woven trails that thousands carved out before me, and still stood small-
hedged in by walls of granite.
I have planted my feet in the coarseness of warm sand,
my eyes trained on a calm, blue sea-
A painted sky stretched across the expanse, and I lived fully in the moment.
The sun and wind have whipped a feeling like hot ash on my bare legs, and in later seasons,
I’ve fallen hard on slick, icy paths-
I’ve had to flee for smoke, blizzards and fog. I’ve closed my eyes behind the wheel of a car and prayed I would survive.
I’ve shrieked at the thrill of winter’s first snow, and again at the frigid bite of summer’s first swim-
But, mostly I have been at peace,
a warm breeze wafting the subtle aroma of my backyard roses.
Adventure has carried me from coast to coast by car and flight-
Yet, nothing has captivated me quite like the distant appearance of
snow-capped Shasta, drawing near.
Now that we are apart,
an aching longing feels my heart,
for evergreens that touch the sky,
a coastline stretching and changing and calling to me.
For cool evening walks, white mountain tops, and that feeling –
I can almost remember what it felt like to be home.