The salmon run occurs every year when salmon return from the ocean to swim upstream to the upper reaches of the rivers where they'll spawn. But not just to any patch of river--the exact location where they themselves were spawned. After four years swimming about happily in the ocean, these fish can recall with uncanny precision where they need to go when the time comes (an incredible feat considering I can barely recall where I was two Mondays ago). If that's not amazing in and of itself, the salmon run is fraught with lethal peril. In addition to the strong current are bears, eagles, and human beings who'd love nothing better than a delicious salmon snack. In fact, most of the salmon won't make the journey to the spawning ground. On some level the salmon run is depressing as all get out, but on another level, it highlights the supernatural magnetism of Home.
I thought about those salmon yesterday as I was moving into my new apartment in the San Fernando Valley. Truth be told, I'd started growing apprehensive about the move from Long Beach to the Valley. By any objective measure, beach living is superior to valley living--cleaner air, cooler temperatures, more outdoor activities. . . it's the beach, for Pete's sake! And yet, the Valley is where I grew up; my own little suburban wonderland in the 818. I can't describe exactly why, but just being here makes me feel comfortable in a way I haven't felt in a very long time. Like I'm finally able to exhale after holding my breath for so long.
Anyway, it feels good to be back--the smog-filled air, the triple-digit heat--all of it feels right; like all the pieces are in order. Everything is as it should be. I guess unbeknownst to me I've been subconsciously drawn to the Valley all these years (perhaps even searching for it). I'm hoping that this stop in my adventure lasts a while because I'm certainly looking forward to getting off the Road for a bit. After all, what is it they say? Ah yes, there's no place like Home.
"With so much drama in the L-B-C, it's kinda hard bein' Snoop D-O-double-G."