My hubs and I originally come from the Ojai, CA area (although we didn't even meet until we had both moved up to the Central Coast area and went to work for the same company--weird, huh?) and I miss it so much.
There is an energy in those mountains that I have always felt so in tune with. I was heartbroken when my parents decided to move away when I was in the 6th grade. Those mountains, canyons and streams sing a lullaby to my soul and when we moved away I could feel it as a deep physical loss--I still do.
My great-grandparents used to own a large piece of land at the summit in the mountains of upper Ojai and I got away for a little bit by myself to take a drive up there. It was very difficult for me to see someone else living there now and the changes they had made. I sat there for a long while remembering the stories my great grandmother used to tell us about this magickal land. Stories about Old Mr. Bear and fairies and other wee folk that I still believe my grandma could really see. She was such a neat lady. So classy and gentle. I know for a fact that she could talk with the animals that frequented her gardens. My mother once watched a robin that she called simply "friend" come and land on the toe of her boot and sit there and listen to her as she spoke softly to him.
She held onto the land and took care of her twin babies (a boy and a girl) all on her own when my grandfather up and decided he was going to go off to war and enlisted without even talking to her about it. She took in laundry to wash and mend and iron for neighbors and also sold and bartered vegetables and jams and jellies that she made from her own garden. My grandfather never seemed to have much money to send back home to her and by the time the war was over and he had decided he was ready to come home, she wasn't sure she wanted him to anymore. She knew she could make it on her own and I am sure she was still pretty pissed off at him. It was my grandmother, her daughter, that begged her to let him come home and she finally relented. I'm not real sure I would have done the same, but who can say. I loved my grandfather, I really did, but damn!
The pictures below are not of the Summit area. I felt a little conspicuous already hanging out around some people's homes that I don't even know so I never even took my camera out of my bag. I never even thought about it. I was too caught up in childhood memories. It was very bittersweet.
The pictures below are taken on our drive home. We took a little detour into the Santa Ynez mountains into the Red Rock area for a little sight seeing. I love these mountains as well. There is just something about these areas that speak so deeply to me.
I can only hope one day that I can find a home in a place that makes me feel the way these mountains do. Man, I so miss it.