It takes a spot of courage to stand up tall and a bit of derring-do to rise when you fall

Friday, September 23, 2005

Meandering Down Memory Lane

Most of us have a place, or places, that are special to us. Places we've been---maybe even only once. Or places that we still visit because they have a certain meaning to us, make us feel a certain way, give us a place to unwind....Whatever the reason, there is a place that's special to us in our thoughts. There are many places in my memory that I won't ever forget and hope to revisit when I can---stretches of the midwest, places in the south, tiny towns. Nothing exotic, nothing foreign or trendy. But real and alive in memory because they hold the story of my childhood, the best memories of my childhood. They continue to be real, no matter how long it's been since I've seen them.

But there's a more tangible spot, a more local destination, that probably holds first place among special places. And that is Santa Cruz. It's not Paris, it's not Rio, it's not the Caribbean. Nothing very exotic. But I'm drawn there again and again, in life and in memory. Santa Cruz is the holder of my secrets, my heartaches, my memories, my experiences through some of the most formative years of my life. From the time I could drive, I was drawn to the beautiful curving drive that brought me to the edge of the sea. West Cliff Drive and the rocks and the ever-moving water. There I poured out every thought, raged with tears, basked in contentment, paced the water's edge, sat motionless for hours on the rocks. Santa Cruz holds the pieces, the ingredients, the substance of my life in the making.

There are special places there which I shared with special people that I'll never forget. And it's close enough that I can go back and stand in the same spot, the very place, and relive an exact memory. Whether it's a painful one or one that still sends shivers down my body, I indulge in standing in the precise space where once a memory was designed, formed, created. Just thinking of it brings a smile, thinking of those memories, knowing it's only a hop, skip and a jump and I'm there. It's a comfort knowing it's near enough to almost touch from where I'm sitting now.

In fact, today is a perfect Santa Cruz day. What am I waiting for?


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