Thursday, May 1, 2008

California, how I love thee so

I miss California in the same way I miss an old friend. Every once in a while, I get a hankering so strong that I can actually smell the eucalyptus and flowering trees of San Francisco, or feel the pull in my stomach I’d get as I turned a tree-lined corner on Highway 1 and found myself looking out over the wide open sea, the surfer boys all lined up along the roadside peeling off wetsuits.

The state flower is the California poppy, scattered everywhere along the roads and in the parks. My brother Chris, who still lives in San Francisco, in fact, still lives in the same neighborhood where we shared a flat for 4 years, just took a road trip to southern Cal last weekend and on his way back, he came across this:

And I am reminded of one of my favorite lines ever written:
“And mixed with the blue lupines were splashes of California poppies. These too are of a burning color-- not orange, not gold, but if pure gold were liquid and could raise a cream, that golden cream might be like the color of the poppies.” from Steinbeck’s East of Eden

Dear California. Please don't forget me. I'll be back to visit soon.


beth said...

Regarding your ten best books list, "East of Eden" is on my ten best list, precisely because of sentences like the one you quoted. And the story line is compelling too. We have several overlaps (Angle of Repose, Atonement, Passage to India) but I also include Jane Eyre and two John Fowles' novels. He is the greatest. It is fun to keep reviewing the list and watch it continually evolve.