In a run-down cottage in the woody hills of Mendocino, my mom gave birth to me with a midwife and a Husky pup at her bedside. My dad was across the room and he swears I looked right at him as I sprung into the world, eager and curious after 36 hours of labor. The former commune meant nothing to me at the time, but I’d visit years later and be struck by the serene beauty of this understated place. Here, goats are for milking and lakes are for swimming. Hippies grow plants alongside skilled weavers. Monks find their zen and there’s a distinct saltiness in the air.
It’s not the specific town or the place, but the feeling I want to share. Staring at the floor, at a single letter that marks my birthplace, life makes sense. I understand why my mom raised us with small town values and big world experience. I grew up waving at cows in our backyard and donating time to orphaned children. I want my kids to experience those awe-filled moments and know how they got here. I want them to see rich wholesomeness and strangers who greet everyone like family. I hope that one day with a glimpse at this place, they’ll know that life isn’t about possessions.
I hope that I can capture that feeling in the span of a shared space. I hope that one day, my children’s children will walk through those doors, staring in wonder at that faded mark on the floor and being overwhelmed with possibility.
What do you want your children to see?