My family's house in Lake Arrowhead officially sold.
With polished wood stairs that wind and wrap. With muntin windows and woodland friends. With views of towering pines and glistening lake water - it was really made for a king and a queen, but somehow the energy was humble, quiet and soft. Somehow, I was lucky enough to spend a year here and marinate in its gentle lessons.
Nick and I drove up from the near-apocalyptic city of Los Angeles at the beginning of pandemic, blessed to have an alternative solace. Snow was melting and dogwood flowers were budding along the winding mountain roads. It was so much quieter here. The air was dryer and the pace was slower.
I was never a mountain girl. In fact, we'd had this house since I was in the eighth grade and though I found it mesmerizing, I never connected with it much. I never had a desire for seasons and I felt a bit dizzy at altitude.
But here we were in March 2020, driving up for an indefinite trip and for a breath of fresh air.
Days passed and I felt wonderful. I was more motivated, less anxious, more creative, and so much freer here. Life was simpler. I shifted from navigating the city streets and traffic to evening walks in the forest. My excitement shifted from finding the latest and greatest digs to gazing silently out the window with a cup of tea.
We decided to stay.
We gave up our lease on our Santa Monica apartment and called Lake Arrowhead, California home for a while.
In the quiet simplicity of caretaking my parents' house, I found inspiration everywhere. I also found the intimate company of myself. In this house, I practiced self-acceptance until it was the only language I chose to speak.
This house wasn't just a safe-haven for us; We wanted to share.
Our lake home because a retreat to host friends who needed an escape from the city. In this refuge, we shared incredible meals, we became self-sufficient, we built our careers, we shared stories, we supported one another, we built fires and roasted marshmallows (vegan, duh ;)), we cried together, we built snow-people, we watched the flowers bloom and the snow fall, we became boaters, we learned some water sports, we played fun, stupid games like monkey in the middle, we danced, we sang, we created and man, did we laugh.
Everyday Lake Arrowhead grew on me in the strangest way. Whereas the general tendency of my human mind is to grow bored and weary of the same after same - every single day it got better. Every single day Nick and I woke up and said, "is it just me, or do you love it here even more?"
Lake Arrowhead taught me something special - a lesson that I never knew before. It taught me to drop the stories and cynicism and to just be.
Lake Arrowhead taught me to let life surprise me.
And it did.
I grew so much in your woods and water, Lake Arrowhead.
I am forever grateful for my time in your surprising, quiet simplicity.
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