Orange County exists in an endless burst of summer. Hints of spring and fall are thrown in here and there, and winter has little to do with weather and more to do with Christmas decorations. In the final days of December the leaves on my neighbors’ trees were just turning red and falling to the ground as flowers were beginning to bloom and I walked towards the ocean in shorts and a t-shirt and wondered how I ever knew what seasons were.
Being home and warm and sun soaked makes me want to sleep and wander and lose myself in a good book. I don’t feel guilty about spending half my day sitting on my bed, nor do I feel guilty after hours have passed and my coffee has turned cold and the pets have come and gone and come again and I am still sitting there, immersed in a book or on my laptop or watching reruns of Friends. The view outside my window is almost always golden. And often I am still sitting there as I watch the sun set on the palm trees and the houses on the hills and the far off distant mountain. In this small corner of California life is quiet and idle. The streets are clean and the nights are quiet and hunger and poverty are problems for another place.
It is a beautiful place, a wonderful place, but it rarely inspires me.
Living here in this cold city, however, makes me want to work hard, to explore, to learn. It makes me want to be a better person. Peace and quiet is rare, and even when I do manage to find it, I do not feel the idleness that I feel at home. Here I am one out of millions. I am small and young and determined and willing. I can make a difference. I have failed to be the best that I can be; I have volunteered none of my time in the five months that I have been in New York, and I have passed far too many men and women in need with out offering whatever help I could give. But I have been inspired to an endless degree, inspired by the people on the streets and the views from the buildings, by the lights and the music and the passion and the fast paced rhythm of a city hard at work.