After dinner, we decided to take a walk along La Jolla beach.
We were enchanted with the charming town as we coasted up and down the streets looking for a parking spot, eventually parking curbside on a quaint road with big, beautiful houses perched above us on the cliff’s edge.
As we made our way down the sidewalk, we passed a group of girlfriends gathered around a blanket with a bottle of wine, babies in strollers, and a young couple lounging in the lush green grass, surrounded by rose petals and deeply engaged in conversation, maybe even newly engaged to be married.
We eventually found a set of stairs that led down to the beach, where I promptly kicked off my shoes so I could feel the sand between my toes as we made our way to the rocks. As my bare feet searched for sure footing on the slippery stone, something shifted in me.
Everything about this setting, from the gorgeous scenery to the perfect climate to the sense of connection among kindred spirits, resonated with me.
The real me. And in that sense, a place I’d never been before felt completely familiar. Not the kind of familiarity that comes from what you know, from the life you’ve lived (which, for me, is Texas heat, Houston humidity, endless trees, Tex Mex, barbecue, lots of family, friends I’ve known for years, good neighbors, and southern hospitality), but a familiarity of the soul, the heart’s recognition of the life you’re meant to live.
All those people I passed on the sidewalk that night in La Jolla were home, in every sense of the word. For those women bonding over a bottle of wine, home was the comfort and joy of companionship. For the cute couple lost in their own world, home was the intimacy of shared dreams and building a life together.
Seeing what life could be made me realize with certainty I didn’t want to return home to Texas as is, all the offerings of a rich life left untouched as if just to be admired from the outside looking in. What I didn’t realize was I wouldn’t have to.
See you in class,