Last week, I took a last minute trip to Cali to visit my cousin. After a whirlwind September, I needed a vacation from my vacation.
I spent five days basking in the sun, lulling myself to sleep more than a few times a day in a hammock and listening to good music with beautiful company. The last couple weeks I’ve been sorting through my thoughts and my life and suddenly, last week, all that seemed less and less urgent. I realized how out of the moment I had been living the last few months; disconnected even. I’ve finally found myself in the moment again. Breathing the air that I’m supposed to be breathing; seeing things for what they are and loving them.
Below is a short essay I wrote while in Cali. Below the essay are photos from the Festival Sultana. Enjoy.
Change In Your Pocket.
I walked briskly down the street, catching the last of the evening light as it bathed the city in shades of purple and blue. The breeze was fresh on my face, like taking gulps of sweet water. I listened to the hum of the boulevard below me. The sounds of buses loading and unloading, honking, grinding, screetching. Far enough from the chaos I observed these sounds. City sounds. My city’s sounds. In that moment, despite the chaos, it all felt peaceful. Life was as sweet as the breeze that drenched me.
I reached into the pocket of my vest and pulled out three coins. Pesos. I thought about how, just four months before, my nightstand held small piles of dimes and quarters, waiting to go back home and be used again. Circulated back into my old life. Or how the bottom of my purse always held a spare quarter amongst loose pesos. Where did those quarters and dimes go? When did this change occur?
This must be what it feels like to call some place home; when the change in your pocket no longer seems foreign. When your dollars are replaced with pesos and you understand the weight of them within your hand.
When I made it to the end of the block, I saw the road in front of me, bustling with rush hour commuters and put the coins back in my pocket. Maybe becoming accustomed to your new life and new home is as gradual as the change in your pocket. My thoughts hovered above me, intertwining with smog and soot from the street, mingling until they diluted each other.
I was at a cross roads. I had walked down my quiet, tree-lined street; as safe and comfortable as my old life had been, until I was met with the chaos of this boulevard’s intersection. Fast, ever-changing, and uncertain: this new life of mine. The intersection of old and new, of safe and unknown. I should turn back and go home, relax after a long day, I thought. I turned onto the boulevard and kept walking into the sunset.