Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Life in the Land of 10,000 Lakes

I consider it a gift when I am seized by a surprise surge of emotion. It happened this morning at the airport in the Twin Cities. There was Native American chant piping from an airport store that sells things made by Native Americans (and probably some cheesy touristy stuff too.)Right next door was a store called "The North Woods" or something like that. A lake-y vibe. Canoes and snowshoes and moose. Minnesota, I thought, and suddenly my eyes were like lakes. I meant to spend my life in The Land of 10,000 Lakes. That had been the plan Mr. Ex and I had made. Have our So Cal fun in the sun, and if we started a family, we'd move back to Minnesota when the kid was ready to start school. "We" started a law firm instead. Our daughters are California girls.

There was a high winds advisory in the Twin Cities last night. The old windows in my condo rattled all night long. I was alone in the house, and spent the night with my iPad next to my bed with the a local weather website open and one ear cocked for the tornado sirens. The weather is still gusty with turbulence at high altitudes, and the airplane I am on as I write this post is practically skimming the ground at 15,000 feet instead of its customary 30 or 35 thousand. It's like a giant-screen interactive video game with no clouds obstructing the view of the ground on this sunny clear day. The lakes in the Twin Cities look like silver-gray silk and the terrain is so so green that the roads slicing through it seem to be tinted yellow. The green in Minnesota always makes me feel as though we Californians are being deluded. Minnesota is genuine green, it seems, while the hues of California green are some kind of tinsel-town fakery. Seen from the air, Minnesota is a marvel of lakes set into an emerald carpet, and it positively swept me off my feet this morning.

I've joked that I've been trying to repatriate my daughters to the Midwest. M. says, that in her case, the mission is accomplished. I heard her say "pop" instead of "soda" just a day or two ago, so I think if she learns to fish, she might be able to pass. C. detested her one year of college in Wisconsin, but now she's working on Lake Michigan in Chicago, and has nothing but praise for the boat, The Windy, and The Windy City itself.

As for me, California still has me on my knees--um...quoting a Joni Mitchell song, but yeah, I'm comin' home.

vintage photo of St. Paul: Lakesnwoods.com
current photo of L.A. is my own

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

I love this post, and while I cringe imagining you leaving us, I'd get it.