Taking a moment to display my love affair with home. While stuck in the Library Coffee Shop working on my Kensington Project, Midterms and Essays.

This is a view from the top of Grizzly Peak, located about a five minute drive from my house in Kensington. And it happens to be my favorite place in the entire world. This picture captures how vast and magical the view of the bay is in my mind. I was given a lot of freedom with this project. We were asked to talk about anything regarding our families or home towns. I knew right away I had to talk about how special Kensington and Berkeley are not just to me, but everyone that has ever stopped through. Every time I get the chance to drive around the Berkeley hills and see the golden gate across from me, my heart swells. I find myself beaming and smiling for no reason at all every time I really pay attention. What I love most about home, is that everyone else is just as proud. The inarticulable love affair is there in everyone. I know this because no one can explain it, only pictures and poems and music make sense of it. No wonder my town is filled with award winning poets, artists and musicians. And no wonder everyone who moves to Kensington, lives there till they die. The landscape and the pure satisfaction that radiates from the bay, make the love affair effortless.

(These last two photos were taken driving down Moser, the street below my friend Margo's house, on the way to Camp Windrush, our amazing hippie middle school in El Cerrito)

And here is a beautiful and incredibly heart-felt poem Margo is letting me read for my project. I'm reading it because it describes the love affair I'm talking about, the one everyone that lives there has.

“Repetitions of Home”
I’ve travelled oceans away from where I learned
to define myself.
I know who I am in California
but now I’ve seen the world
(or at least a new pinpoint on the map)
and I’m not who I was when I left.
California gave birth to me.
California shaped me.
California whispered to me all I know.
I see the world through California eyes.

Golden citrus westward eyes.
I’m happy to be away
but I dream of going back.
Flying through the night over San Francisco
dodging the clouds and peeking at the lights
that flank the bay in silent clusters.
My city is winking hello and welcoming me home.
The undulating terrain below is so familiar
stamped into my mind.
Unforgettable as the face of my father—
burned into my blood.
My blood that pumps California through my fingertips.
My blood that paints California in my toenails.
My blood that heats my cheeks with California.
I know who I am in California
but who does that make me here?
If I meet you now you cannot possibly know me
until you know me
in California.

There’s a void in my chest when I’m away from home.
I asked Tony Bennett to keep his eyes peeled
because I’m sure I left my heart
in the same spot that he did.

California makes my hair grow.
California glues my joints together.
California keeps this new air flowing through my lungs.
But the air here doesn’t taste like California.
I miss the scent of clean fog on green redwood trees.
I miss the freshwater and saltwater mixing at my feet
in an opposite embrace.
Flowing in and out
in and out
beneath the brick-red bridge that I love.
California is my random luck.
California is my secret wish.
California is my reason to smile.
A single speakable Spanish word
buried at the foundation of centuries of dreams.
Doesn’t everyone want to be home in California?

-By Margo Winton

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