Posted by: lornasass | December 25, 2011


Pt. Reyes National Seashore//Photo by Lorna Sass

It seemed like a good idea at the time: leaving my NYC apartment and staying in a house surrounded by vineyards in Sonoma, CA.  That was three or four months ago and the plane tickets were bought.

In the intervening time, I became more and more involved in my NYC life.  In fact, I went from feeling ill at ease in the concrete jungle to falling back in love with the intensity of street life, the vast cultural options, and my daily walks in the Central Park Ramble. 

In the days preceding my departure, I felt like a carrot digging its roots more deeply into the soil.  I resisted packing and the thought of getting myself on an airplane felt alien.  In short, I didn’t want to be the carrot that got dug up.  Why couldn’t I just stay home?

Well, that wasn’t a practical option, so here I am in Sonoma, with an organic vegetable garden in front of the house and all the stuff of someone else’s life inside.  Yesterday we had a delicious lunch from the taco truck in the gas station in Napa.  Last night we feasted on lacinato kale harvested just a few minutes before it hit the pot.  Today we are going to one of my favorite places on earth:  Pt. Reyes National Seashore.  It’s free to get into this magnificent park, giving me the feeling that some things are really right with the world.

There’s no Metropolitan Museum  just a ten-minute walk away, and I have to get into a car to buy a quart of milk.  There are choices, but they are different choices:  Not what museum shall I go to today, but what walk shall I take, what book shall I read?

It’s a different way of living, and it gives me a fresh perspective on my life back home.  Even though I miss the familiar comforts of my own four walls, I’ve decided to spend some time hanging out with the carrots in the front garden, getting a real taste of the soil in this parts.   I wonder if, by the time I leave, I’ll be dug in so deeply that I’ll have trouble yanking myself out of here…

One thing I know for sure.  As I’m getting older, I’m feeling less yankable.  And I’m ever so glad to have built up a storehouse of magnificent memories from visiting places near and far.  These memories have nourished the soil of my life so that when I can travel no longer, I’ll have the strength to dig deeper and deeper roots, knowing that coming home to myself is the biggest and more exciting travel adventure of them all.



  1. Eloquent and inspiring!

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