The city of Berkeley has a ‘je ne said quoi’ attitude that resonates with me.
The University and its grounds vibrate with static electricity that I feed on. From the first time I stepped on Berkeley concrete off the BART in 2007 accompanied by my son to visit the campus in his Junior year, I have felt the buzz. I thought I felt he belonged here but I realize now – it is I who has a bond with the place – beyond my two offspring who venture here. I love the food, the greenness and the multi-ethnicity, here. I love the hippie, eco-sophisticated and vegan energy, here. I love the nobel laureate, smart, nerdy, computer hacker, innovative, compassionate, open, political, bum-friendly, edgy, discriminate yet tolerant, span of generations and distributions of wealth, here. I love the views, the prices and the liveliness, here. I love that the buildings are squatter, the treed campus is steep and hilly and the way the University flows into downtown and Berkeley thrives because of all the young blood, here. I am not saying I want to move, but I definitely look forward to the experience – every chance I get to come up, here.
A formal double row alignment of spring flowering trees marching up and down one of the many centers of UC Berkeley or better known as the Cal campus. Summer blooming lilies fill in the center. Elsewhere, I noticed groups of agapanthus or ‘otherwise known as’ lily of the nile clumps springing up, purple and white.
Endless and timeless, always picturesque, ever changing yet always beautiful, the campus explores itself within the confines of structures. Students, professors, employees and visitors get to behold the landscape of an ascetically pleasing stroll wherever they go. The aged tree canopies make the oldest UC campus feel grounded, secure and established. There is a lot to be said for the value in plants and their design, how they help with mood, inspire and uplift the viewer. That belief is clearly protected at Cal.Above the street, a view from the enclosed walkway bridge that connects two dorm sites where my youngest resides.
Bookended, Berkeley has been and is home to my oldest and youngest. Across the great expanse of the USA, my middle one lives on the opposite coast, from whence her parents met and grew up – go figure.
This vacation, I got to be part of an important welcome back to one, time spent with all, a farewell to one on spring break and a kick-off to another at the start of her time off.
Today I leave with my youngest and drive back down to OC. May she endure the drive with me and land softly, securely and happily back into her nest. May V have a safe and pleasant flight back to the East Coast, may her re-entry be productive and interesting. May M start his first week at his new job in SF with enthusiasm and energy. May J soon find the position of her dreams. May they all be joyful and healthy. I love them all so much it hurts. To see them flourish, enriching their worlds and living their dreams, is a gift, I am so grateful to witness.