California Beauty & a Reflection on Place

There’s been a delay in posting as I was enjoying myself in California last week. I have several posts envisioned, but for today, I will be simple and focus on some of the beautiful wild things I saw that I am not used to seeing in my native land.



It’s amazing how foreign I can feel in my own country, to be near such a different landscape. Every now and again I would say, “Oh, that’s…[fill in the blank]”, but there are so many new plants to discover.

Oh, they make rosemary into bushes…

It’s all very exciting, but it also reminds me of how long of a process it is to get to know a piece of land, a place to call home.

Traveling through the Ojai valley on horseback


I’ve been on the Earth for several decades, but have just barely begun to understand the patterns of the seasons, the signals in the clouds, the messages of the wind. It is not surprising that as we are increasingly mobile and separated from nature, that people do not see climate change as real and that we cannot see the Earth responding to our carelessness. In a culture where it is so rare to know a landscape intimately, it is much more difficult to see how we are impacting the Earth. I was reminded of this as I stood in a new climate and could only hear the Earth whispering in a foreign language – beautiful, but difficult to interpret.

Santa Barbara


There is beauty and wonder to behold on all corners of this planet, but to know them intimately is a long process. They are always changing and there is always something new to discover. We unfold and learn more of ourselves as we observe and feel awe in the beauty around us.ย  It also can inspire us to become aware of our behaviors and take steps to protect our home.

To me you are a houseplant and yet you are growing outside here just fine!

Edibles in a front yard.

If only we would listen.

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2 thoughts on “California Beauty & a Reflection on Place

  1. I loved reading your positive spin on what we consider a mundane landscape! So glad you enjoyed the California poppy and the rosemary that grows abundantly around us.
    And of course, our beautiful coastline! Looking forward to your future posts

  2. Pingback: The Ojai Foundation | these light footsteps

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