New Horizons


My body clock tells me that autumn is deepening, but here I am in Southern California, where the morning sunlight is brighter in November than at any time of the year in Virginia. This is only part of the strangeness of living in a new landscape. My long stay in LA has been planned for months with a very important and joyful purpose—I am here to help out my daughter-in-law and son after the birth of their second boy (any day now!). That sounds so altruistic, but my motives are purely selfish. Thanks to Airbnb, I have found a friendly studio not far from their apartment, and I get  to be a part of their lives while experiencing a very different life of my own. As my husband generously holds down the home front, I have the grounding of my family here  to mitigate the disorientation of being in a new place, one I've visited often but never gotten to explore on my own. After I drop my toddler grandson at preschool, I have several morning hours to wander with my camera, and that crystal bright California sunshine makes everything photo worthy. The shapes and colors of unfamiliar plants and flowers are irresistible. I am very attached to my home in Virginia, and I miss my studio, my kitchen, my garden, and my familiar routines, but after only a week here, I sense the possibilities for growth in myself and my work. And the laughter of my grandson reminds me to enjoy every day. William Faulkner wrote, “You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.” The mountains out my window remind me that I've left the Atlantic far behind.