Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone 💕! Wishing you a fabulous day ahead filled with love ❤️.
California Love ❤️
I came across these love letters this morning just in time for Valentine’s Day that are not your typical love letter, but a love letter to our beloved California, the state that I call home.
I love this place for its bounty of nature, the people in all colors and cultures, the amazing weather, the cool Pacific ocean, and the lush farm lands that feed our soul.
We do have our share of shortcomings such as droughts, wildfires, housing shortages, water shortages, but through it all I’m a Cali gal at heart.
Today”s love letters are to California and is from readers of New York Times who sent in their notes of affection to the editor of the West Coast Edition. Enjoy!
By Soumya Karlamangla California Today,
Writer for New York Times West Coast Edition
It’s Monday. On this Valentine’s Day, we’re celebrating a special kind of love. Not romantic love, but an equally real, possibly just-as-corny type of affection — for the state of California.
Dozens of you wrote to me about why you love Carmel-by-the-Sea, Atascadero, Napa, Laguna Beach or the Golden State as a whole. As is appropriate for this holiday, your proclamations were sweet, passionate and largely unconcerned with our state’s shortcomings.
You told me: California might be burning, drying up, wildly expensive and slipping into the sea, but you adore it all the same. Honestly, me too.
Here are a few love letters to our beloved California. Enjoy!
“I tried to move away from San Francisco during the pandemic, back to my hometown Baltimore. I made it one year and three months before the City by the Bay called me back.”
“Every block of San Francisco holds some sort of beauty. Magical succulents, gorgeous hilltop views, colorful Victorians, and people, being themselves in whatever way they want to be. I have felt the most intense sense of belonging since I have returned. My heart will always be in San Francisco. I am in love with this city.” — Ali Moss, San Francisco
“Having grown up in Minnesota where winters are quite cold, I especially love winters here in Escondido. The clear blue sky, ridges of hills surrounding you and the warmth of the sun on your skin even with a cool 60 degree breeze. Add to that the sounds of all the birds and it is a magical morning. After 2 years of Covid, taking a deep breath is truly a pleasure I enjoy every day.” — Mark Vaughan, Escondido
“The Golden State nourishes my soul/
Her bounties both tactile and visual/
A state so bounteous with culture and spirit/
More than enough for just the residents in it.
Her sunshine pours, warm honey on skin/
Feed upon her riches, from barbacoa to vin/
Patchwork quilts of flax and pine/
Deserts, mountains, shimmering coastline/
California, mi amor, will you be mine?” — Masahana Kato, Los Angeles
“In 1964, my family moved to Hacienda Heights, and for the most part, I have been a Cali Girl ever since. Hacienda Heights is almost the perfect place to live. We’re close to the beach and the mountains. On clear days, from the roof, we can see the snow-topped Big Bear. The freeway access is wonderful, although rush hour traffic has radically changed.
“Though I am grateful to be studying in Europe this semester, I dread spending Valentine’s Day without you, my dearest Berkeley. If there is one thing that this distance has made me realize, it is that nowhere in the world can outshine your indisputable strangeness. From the dinosaur man of Sproul Plaza, to the street artists on Durant, to the contrast between the $8 lattes and $1 tacos, no two days in Berkeley can be the same.” — Jessica Blelloch, Madrid
“My Dearest California,
I tried to leave you once. It was decades ago, and you’d put me in a funk for the same reasons you drive others away — the traffic, the cost of housing, and, for me, missing my family and a hometown I still adore.
So I got into my car and headed for the coast. But before I reached Big Sur I realized why I had to stay. Where else in the world could I get in the car and, in hours, arrive at the white beaches of Carmel? The cobalt blue waters of Lake Tahoe? The neon mustard on the Kelly green hills of Napa? Even though your scope and intensity can drive me completely mad, you’re the most gorgeous, complex state I know. I love your geography, your ambition and your open-minded, forward-thinking people, which I shall never take for granted.”
“California, we have been through much together these past few years — fires, drought, Covid. And yet, those unfortunate developments have only made me fear losing you and intensified my appreciation. As I gaze out my window at the beauty of bare oaks against a cornflower winter sky, you, my dear, are my home. Even when you break my heart, I will always love you.” — Lisa Wrenn, Walnut Creek
There is beauty to be loved in any place we call home ❤️!
Wishing you a very Happy Valentine’s Day 💕!