My favorite hills along the highway

Highway 80 near Davis

Meyer Lemon plant

I have not lived in California for twenty years, but every time I go back, I think that I'm going home. It is where my father spent the last 30 years of his life, and being there has always meant being with him. Now that he is gone, memories of him haunt me when I'm there. The loneliness of the dark desolate road to his house is unbearable since he is no longer there waiting for me at the end. But everything reminds me of him, like the Meyer lemon plant that has doubled in size since we brought it home from Filoli Garden, the last outing my sisters and I took with our father before he died. He was so frail then, more than any of us had surmised. He was as stoic as those ancient trees that he told me he loved most in that garden. The day was as beautiful as we could have hoped for, and the garden was obligingly bursting with cherry blossoms, daffodils, and tulips. We sat silently for a while on a bench under the sun, and unbeknownst to me then, he staged the last fight for his life.

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