next time you’re in santa barbara take a spin on montrose lane up in mission canyon. there is a knockout view overlooking a series of ridges that remind me a bit of umbria. trees dotted on the slopes, houses perched on hilltops. the street is short so you’ll know right away when you reach the part i speak of. i’ve found airbnbs twice on this very street.
i could stare out at this quiet canyon for hours. and i did. watching a family of woodpeckers, listening to a rooster, i was certain i heard a horse whinny.
i combed over the hillsides with my binoculars.
in the evenings from my perch i watched the sky turn orange, then the sun turn red and blink out.
then reappear each morning over the water. gilding every surface with gold.
when i left this morning a thick blanket of fog was draped over santa barbara. i drove downhill into the enchanting gloom and headed home.
i confess i missed the wild headlands and violent waves roaring into the tunnels and inlets of the mendocino coast. i missed the biting cold. being solitary.
i did not turn north on the 101 fwy and hightail it back to the caspar headlands. no i didn’t.
i turned south and 90 minutes later i walked up the steps and into the warm embrace of moss cottage.
i found the cats and gave them squeezes, put my bag on the bed, and hurried outside to tend to all the little live things in my garden and patio.
i cleaned up the clumps of hawthoria. tomorrow morning i will give them their own big pot where they can clump to their heart’s content.
corky if you’re reading this…do you remember giving me this little plant when you came to catsit long ago? it has multiplied!
the senecios are in bloom. tiny perfect flowers on long stems.
i am home to stay for the rest of my long vacation. there is still a new year to usher in and another week after that.
i will be right here soaking up the quiet.