California, you are beautiful. I haven’t seen you in so long, trapped in interiors, of my own making, and the architecture, here in the concrete island, so like a prison, where I have slowly, through the help of so many, rebuilt it’s brokenness into what it can become. I count today as my first day of birth. We crossed forests, climbed into the mountains. Painters stories, the helpful strangers, facing the guardians of the hell realms at the central gates, clearing all obstructions in my mind. I make the vow every morning, which no longer will be simply be in language, but in your vast landscape, incalcuable. I sat alone in a temple, as a small crowd circled the building I found myself in. Just meeting the Buddha, at one time like a god, but this time, came to me as if an old friend.
I felt his love shine all throughout my mind, and now, at the end of the day, my only wish, is that I always remember the Buddha as my friend. A true friend who I find in all people around me, reflected in their deepest intentions, the kindness in their voices, the love in their thoughts. From the jewel temple we walked to a small statue, a guardian who protects us, and then on leaving the mountains, spun on a giant metal wheel of dharma, prepared to make the journey home. Now that we’re home, I feel each step of the journey, remember each moment, each so important, each so vast. Tonight I will sleep well, finding solace in the friendship between so many, so many I know, so many I do not. But we’re all here together. My greatest wish is that I remember this, in any difficult days that lie ahead. Thank you for this day.