This is the season of our wedding anniversary - this time it will be 37 years. I wrote a letter to the two friends of ours who stood as our witnesses, and who have been married for 38 years, and have two grown daughters. Here's part of what I wrote:
"The time of our quaker certification seems so long ago and such a different world! This morning I went to the library and for a walk in a little shopping district near the neighborhood where Gary and I first lived when we arrived here in Berkeley - the Elmwood district on the south side of campus. I ran into a friend, who is retired, and we were able to sit outside and drink tea and visit - so pleasant in the morning light and with the wonderful trees in the Elmwood district. Berkeley is loaded with wonderful trees and shrubs. I always really enjoy the university atmosphere, which is very strong over there.
I went for a similar kind of walk with another friend yesterday on the north side, where we've lived since '75. Anyway, it's been fun to spend some time remembering my many years in Berkeley. After all, I moved here pretty much right after marrying Gary, and although it seemed a bit alien to me for a long time, gradually it has become home.
Berkeley in the 70's was a highly politicized place, continuing into the 80's as well when it was intensely radically feminist, and it is a large LGBT community even today. I think I was just finished with all of that politicizing by the time I moved here and I wanted more of a personal life. Sort of a low level goal, I guess, and not quite in synch with Berzerkley.
But, Berkeley in the past couple of decades has also become very Buddhist and there's just a general atmosphere of interest in religion and spirituality here which suited me for many years, although I seem to have grown out of that somewhat. And there is still the university percolating away in the background, with all sorts of great used bookstores which I love, and the city has a good library system - although with Philadelphia's library system to compare with, it merely seems 'on a par.' And we have a good parks system here as well. A lot of interest in botany and horticulture and wilderness among the permanent residents, so plant life fairly abounds. I think actually Berkeleyhas been a better fit for me than I sometimes give it credit for!
so much for 'not native fruit' !