|Ventura Beach, CA|
Natalie Goldberg talks about the importance for us to go home as writers in her book Writing Down the Bones. She challenges us to go home and take along a journal. Goldberg asks us to write down what does it look like? What does it smell like? At the very least, take memo's in our mind for future writing.
It seems I traveled a little lighter when I moved to South Carolina. I've had another child and a run of bad health. But now, at the conclusion of wrapping up my college days, I went home for the first time in eight years.
For the most part, California was the same. Sure, my little suburb of Santa Clarita has been developed beyond all recognition in certain areas, but the weather was glorious.
In my father's house, I stayed in the guest room, and the bookshelf near the foot of the bed housed all my novels from high school. Authors like Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Earnest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, Victor Hugo, and even Agatha Christie were all waiting there for me to rediscover.
Our last Saturday there, my father, my best friend, my youngest daughter and I set out to my old stomping grounds of Ventura Harbor. I used to spend nearly every weekend down there, and at one point even had a boat docked at the harbor just off Spinnaker Drive.
We started off having boats full of seafood called the Captains Feast at Andria's Seafood Restaurant, and perused the shops. We enjoyed the musical stylings of the Deep Pockets, a well-rounded and fun 80s and 90s cover band. We walked on the beach, and finished up at the Channel Islands National Park.
Not only was it the perfect day weather-wise, my company was warm and inviting. I had a good time, and I realized in some of my quieter moments that I'm more myself in Ventura, CA than anywhere else on earth. Somehow, I've got to find my way back there, to that magical place where I find my center, and the positive energy re-invigorates my soul.
The moral of this story is simple. If you've lost balance in your life, go home. Re-connect with your former self, embrace it, and don't be afraid of who you are.
Wishing you all a prosperous and blessed New Year in 2014.
Laurie Epps is a non-fiction author, essayist, editor, and poet living in Anderson, South Carolina. A seeker of beauty, her is dream is to travel the world one day and tell the many stories of those she meets. Her columns include: Monday Morning Book Club, and Thoughtful Thursdays, a column dedicated to the fine art of poetry.