Grey Whales of Winter Pass My Window


Friday, March 02, 2007

Grey Whales Pass My Window

A pod of grey whales just passed my ocean side windows. As they migrate north I am assured that the grey days of winter will pass too.

Yes, I’ve retreated from the nasty and endless cold of a Santa Fe winter that seems to never end. It’s what California girls do. I have yet to mention to soon-to-be-mama-daughter, who complained about the windy 35 degree high in Santa Fe, that I planted pansies today.

My dull grey and brown winter ended when I hit Cambria, Ca. Color slipped from the storm that greeted me upon arrival. Green hills, blossoming fruit trees, brilliant calla lilies, and my neighbor’s rainbow house. In a neighborhood of grey and blue-grey houses, Natalia Calderon challenges anything bland. Her home is her canvas. I love it. During a chicken taco lunch she handed me an essay she wrote “The Last Comadre.”

“Would you look at it and tell me what you think?” she asked. I took it home, read it and cried.

The piece is about her comadre (godmother), Blanca Rios, now in a Los Angeles retirement home. Natalia’s recollection of her time with Blanca made every memory of my godparents rise to the surface. Her tale begins in Mexico, winds its way to Roosevelt High School in Los Angeles, and defines the color of family.

Natalia writes, “We all have those we have chosen to be in our families. If we have these (people) in our lives, treasure them. Call, write, email, and most importantly see and hug this familia as often as you can.

“We humans are a unique complex individual creation…we all need to be loved…so keep your familia (and) cultivate your comadres and compadres.”

It’s like planting pansies in the warm California sun when my husband and home a thousand miles away still wallow in winter’s grey.

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