One True Place that Leads To Every Other One True Place

by Benjamin Santos

  • Benjamin Santos - Heaven

There are aproximatly 164,000 square miles that make up the sanctuary that we call home. That we call California. Connecting all that space is about 2,335,424 miles of paved road. It is awkward to me that I may be replying to a environmental conservationist contest by telling people that my One True Place in California is a never ending black ribbon of rock, tar, and oil trampled upon by smog breathing beasts. How ironic indeed.

Ive been to an infinite amount places in this beautiful state and I still yet to see enough. I have climbed 10,000 foot mountains, swam in the waters of Santa Cruz, Malibu, San Deigo, and Lake Tahoe. Ive criss crossed my way through the Central Valley, and through the vast Ocean of green that is the North Coast. But, no matter how hard I try I cannot think of a more magnificent place than in my old beat up car sailing on tarmac like I was a lost soul swimming through the universe. Its like black ribbon has connected me to the God that is nature.

It has been the way the sun rises over the San Joaquin Valley in the fall. It’s rays reaching over the Sierras and on to endless fields of grains. Grains that keep our stomach full at night. Or the way the moon’s light snakes it way through the canyons of Malibu at one o’clock in the morning…I loved to see my beautiful copilot’s smile as she realized that even in the absence of California’s golden sun, that this is a majestic place.

I will never forget the feeling of entering Yosemite Valley up through highway 41 for the first time….my chest opening up with joy. It felt as if my soul would shatter the windshield before me. The vast expanse calling me in and opening its self up to the gates of God above in Heaven. The valley behaving as if she her self new her magnificence.

You see. I can not pick any one tiny dot on a map as my One True Place for I have a love affair with it all. A love for a sorry death concoction of rock, tar, and grime that has shown me and some of my most special friends that the place we live in is alive and ripe with adventure and beauty….a place to be shared and protected. If you look around at any given time or place in this state, on any road or trail; in a car, on a bike, or on foot, you will know that you are in heaven. Now go choose your road so that you may see it all. This place is love. Treat it as such.

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