I live and work in Washington state, I am down in N. California visiting and lending a hand where I can with my family, my dad/step monster ( I call her this in all love and respect, it's kind of an inside joke between us, since she in only a year older than me) have a small farm in the high desert.
I am struck by the beauty here, in a place that to many seems dry, hot and desolate, and it is all of these, but there is so much more here. I see every morning the land waking around me, the birds come out for the bugs in dad's alfalfa field, the butterflies zig zag in twos and threes, the dragonflies that line up on the barbed wire to warm themselves, the deer bring the fawns out in the cool of the morning, and the pheasant, magpie, crow and hunting birds that come out to start their day.When the sun creeps up in the sky the colors are breath taking, muted greens, sandy browns and red clay are tinged with pinks and golds. And sunsets are just as spectacular, with reds and purples coloring everything.
But what strikes me deeper is the voice of the land. I am used to hearing/feeling the land in Washington, a voice that is deep and whispering, a land whose caress is damp and lush. Here the land speaks softly too, but it is more a singsong, speaking quietly of the hidden things that you can see if you chose to look.
Even the trees speak a different language, it's a higher tone whisper, where in Wa it is a lower tone moan.
I am tranced by the life I see everywhere around me here, the surprises that I find at every turn, the nesting pheasant, the hidden deer fawn in the hedge row, the ibis that flock to the small stream not far from dad's place, the pace at which things grow once the water flows.
I feel strangley at home here, in a way I have not felt in Washington, even with the love I feel for the places there. I feel as if I have been welcomed back to a place I have not been for a very long time, I feel HOME.

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