It's about life - not "lifestyle"
|Recently I had one of the great California experiences, gone rare now in many areas, but so vivid when it happened that it broke forth memories long cast aside in the heat and hurry of modern life.
Like everything else, in truth it was one of a series which has strung itself out over a lifetime.
I walked out into the back yard after a long workday and was instantly shocked by the sight of all the work I had to do! But almost immediately
a much more pleasant sensation hit me like a cool wave on a hot day: the air was thick with the sweetest scent I could imagine.
Across the back fence was an orange tree in massive full bloom, frosted white with blossoms over the normal green foliage. It immediately pulled up visions of the town I live in back when I was growing up. Acres of oranges and lemons had to be passed to go pretty much anywhere. Travel around Southern California yeilded similar experiences. As I got older there were parties to attend on citrus ranches...driving cars along a line of tall eucalyptus trees until we saw other cars parked between the rows of orange or lemon trees which led off the dirt access road in perfect 90 degree angles.
When I really got going with the surfing thing there was even an orange scented surf wax called "Orange Stuff". Nothing like smells to take you away. In my own backyard some 30 years later a neighbor's blossoming orange tree put me at the end of the cul-de-sac between the Ventura Pier and County Fairgrounds, somewhere in 1969 or 1970. Nothing was built in that little stretch then. The cut-down longboard was placed on dirt if I recall and I rubbed the wax on carefully, keeping an eye on the ocean and the Channel Islands. The wax really was orange, but the best part of that was hitting the water. The salt smell of the Pacific Ocean, light offshore breezes, and who knows what...whatever, it brought the orange scent of the wax out.
No need to mention how different times were back then. At any given time California is probably half fantasy anyway. Reality may lie somewhere between fantasy and memory; life may just be a case of dancing on the line that seperates the two. California and oranges, Now and Then; I think I'm going to be planting a couple of trees this year.
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