Where I live, in Oakland California, when you say something is “through the tunnel,” it really means you are saying, “in a galaxy far, far, away.” Through the tunnel has implications.
I’m not knocking the ‘burbs here, but we Oaklanders had many adjustments to make to our new situation in Moraga, a place that still calls itself a “town,” which is where we settled, temporarily, while we planned the rebuilding of our home.
|One road in, one road out. The kids call it “Boraga”|
The adjustment to living in the Mo didn’t just have to do with our being displaced after the fire and finding ourselves bereft of all our familiar touchstones…it also had to do with learning to let go a little in the suburban environment. For example, the older kids could ride their bikes or walk to the library, to the local shopping center, and to the lovely park in the middle of town. We went to see fireworks at the park on the 4th of July, and even held one of James’s birthday parties there. But the best part of living in the town of Moraga was…the parking!
I swear to god, free parking everywhere. And lots of it. If I was looking for a silver lining, this was it.
You could park at the grocery store. Or the take-out pizza place, or the Baskin Robbins, or the TJ Maxx or the deli or the hardware store. Right in front! No meters, no restrictions, no street sweeping on the second Monday, no circling the block and praying for your parking karma to kick in. Just wide open spaces everywhere you looked.
Even with the blackened landscape on either side, seeing all of that gave me hope– and helped me get through another tough day of meetings, phone calls, list making and schlepping.
|Ooooh! I missed seeing the fog too…|
This video (who knew you could find this sort of thing?) is a much longer journey than the one I took during my round trips between Moraga and Oakland–and it’s following traffic going in an easterly direction…but the important thing to notice is how, twenty years later, there are trees and houses in the hills over and around the entrance to the tunnel. In 1991, the scorched moonscape stretched across 1520 acres.
I did not drive this fast, by the way.