thoughts through letters

| bonnie forkner

as i shared earlier this week, david and i will be packing up and moving cross country next week (eee!). i have a lot of feelings wrapped up in the move and about these two states, of which i'll to try to express today with letters to each.

dear california,

oh how i have loved living here among your rolling hills and brilliant blooms. i will miss dearly your perfect weather, sunshine and lack of humidity. i will never forget running through your vineyards and letting your sunrises and sunsets take my breath away. it has been wonderful to let the outdoors in year round with no need for heat or air conditioning. our little vine covered cottage has been more than a home, it's been a source of peace, inspiration and renewal. the ability to cut your fresh roses all year has been addictive, and i'm not sure what i'll do without it. you've introduced me to neighbors and friends that will live in my heart forever.

your farm stands, markets and gardens have sustained us. i have never experienced a more vibrant land full of nutrition and wholesomeness. we will never forget the names of our favorite farmers and bee keepers who live here. january just won't be the same without your juicy tangerines. the growth that we have experienced here has been monumental and life changing.

on the contrary, i won't miss your increased living expenses, taxes and strict beach regulations. i will be gladly give up my fear of  earthquakes, great whites and tarantulas in our home. i will happily leave your dry land and sprinkler systems behind and will be overjoyed to dramatically decrease the distance between us and our families.

dear north carolina,

oh how i long to return to your mountains, green fields and beautiful trees. i can feel the mossy grass between my toes right now. i will welcome your seasons as i have missed attaching the cycles of my life to the cycles of your weather. i cannot wait to dig in your rich soil and sink my teeth into a juicy watermelon come summer. i have missed your streams, rivers and warm lakes. everything is always so green and full of life- it begs to be frolicked upon. i'm eager to return to your bluegrass music, amazing food and tilted barns. community thrives in your land and everyone feels like family.

i can't wait to pull out my boots, sweaters and knitted goods as i will be glad to again be able to hibernate. i love nothing more than sipping tea by the fire as i watch your sky pour a blanket of white snow on the ground. you feel cozy and warm and snuggly in my mind. i am eager to return to this land where i was born, raised and fell in love. where our families and grandparents still reside. i will be so happy to never again miss a holiday, birthday or family reunion with my loved ones.

on the contrary, i am not so thrilled to be returning to your humidity, mosquitoes and general bugginess. it will be heart breaking to wake up and think about the people i love who i left in california. the ocean will now be a disspointing distance away from us, though i do look forward to returning to your shell filled sandy beaches again. though the mountains are my favorite source of beauty, i'm already dreading the essential curvy roads that make me sick.

in closing,

no state is perfect, but these two states have been perfect for us. i welcome the negatives because the pluses fill me with such joy. getting tossed to and fro the last few years has been a learning experience, a great adventure for us. but it has also left us feeling a little unsettled and we long to grow our roots. in closing, we're finally going home to roost.


  • As a native Californian whose entire extended family lives in North Carolina, this was such a fun read and summed up my feelings about both states, too. We’d love to move there for so many of the reasons you articulated. Wishing you safe travels home and a happy, new start!

    • christina, how fun! glad my thoughts weren’t too off kilter! thank you so much for your well wishes!

  • Safe travels and thank you. Having moved from FL to CA your words ring so well to my experience. I think I may need to write something similar to remind me of all the good and not so good, just to be thankful and pull me out of a short bout of homesickness for my part of the south.

  • I’m so happy for you Bonnie. California has been wonderful, and I can’t wait to see what life you live in North Carolina!

  • Beautifully and magically written. I think I might write a letter to the places I have lived in my journal today. Thank you so much for the inspiration! Can’t wait to see lovely pictures of your new home! God bless.

  • I’m a native North Carolinian who moved to Hawaii with my husband over the summer (we’re military). These letters sound so similar to my sentiments right now. We LOVE Hawaii and will always LOVE North Carolina. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous that you’re moving back to the Old North State, but I know we’ll be back there some day too…and hopefully up in Avery County where we plan to buy farmland soon! Give the Blue Ridges a hug for me!

  • I love this. I especially love how you made an effort to say that “no place is perfect” because, your right, its not. But some places DO just feel like home. I remember the last time we visited asheville, I thought.. ohhh THIS IS HOME!! I’m so excited for you both.

  • Perfectly put–we moved back to east coast for similar reasons and, although I miss both Northern and Southern California, I’m still happy where we are now. Much luck with your move.

  • You write so beautiful. Your little place in Cali is such a dream but its just impossible to be away from family regardless. My cousin and I used to go to Chattanooga at a little coffee shop on the weekend and listen to Bluegrass, I miss it.

  • thinking of you as you travel back *home*

  • What a beautiful reflection, Bonnie. Stars have followed you wherever you have ventured. Already the deep blue/black skies in the NC mountains are rejoicing over your return and are burning brighter. As for your friends on the west coast, I am reminded of Michael W Smith’s song about Friends that ends with “…Though it’s hard to let you go, In the Father’s hands we know, That a lifetime’s not too long to live as friends…” Shine on girl and get home safely.

  • Welcome to Brevard!

    My aunt and uncle live there and I’ve spent every summer there since I was born! I now live about 45 minutes away. If you ever need help or land to grow veggies on they have a HUGE farm that they rent space t organic growers. Also check out Gwynn Valley Summer Camp!

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