I ease onto Pershing Drive, it’s winding downhill curves provide vistas of Balboa Park, the Naval Hospital, and in the distance the Coronado-San Diego Bay Bridge. If I catch the green semaforo, I shoot like a pinball straight onto the I-5 South.
The merge is easy. I move in the opposite direction of the traffic as I often do. The drive is light and fair past 32nd Street Naval Base and the shipyards, through National City and Chula Vista. The I-5 and the Bay lean toward each other where the I-54 begins it’s sail east. I glimpse The Coronado Islands beyond the Coronado Cays. The Chula Vista Nature Center shimmers like foil at a picnic.
Now the Salt Mines. Now IB, more than OK. Now my native land of Mexico surges in the Coastal Mist as I exit off the 905/Tocayo Avenue exit to the West. Now the 7-11. Now the track homes. Now Hollister Street.
Robin, The Girls and I do not live on Suzie’s Farm. We lease all of our land from various agents. But this place on Sunset Avenue is ours, for now. Ours to care for and worry over, to love and to grow. Memories and stories and images and tears and futures and pasts and visions and dreams exist here. My heart is here as much as it is at our residence. Two words I cherish to speak: Suzie’s Farm.
We are an Urban Farm, resting in the 1,300 Border Field State Valley; Tijuana palpable to the South.
The San Ysidro port of entry – which separates Tijuana, Mexico, from San Diego County – is the busiest land border crossing in the world, with more than 30 million people crossing into the country from Mexico in 2012, according to government statistics. That energy spills over onto Suzie’s.
School bells announce the times of day down the street from Southwest High.
Breezes bluster and blow from the Pacific Ocean to the West.
Migrating birds use Suzie’s to eat, drink, refresh, and rest near as we are to the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve.
Helicopters buzz Suzie’s as Navy pilots practice at The Helicopter Capital of the World, Naval Outlying Landing Field Imperial Beach, or Ream Field as we still call it.
Border Patrol agents in 4-wheel ATVs rove the backroads; Park and Rec trucks cruise the trails. California Conservation Corps improve the area.
Who cares, Lu. What does this have to do with farming?
Because it’s The Power of The Place, which gives it’s Power to it’s People. Suzie’s is influenced by everything around it. The journey here. The journey home. Suzie’s is what it is because of where it is. Aren’t you?
I would not be the person I am right this moment without the history of my life: the torments of my time at middle school, my family’s move from Mexico to the US when I was a toddler, our move from Northern California to San Diego, the years of being fat, the struggles in my marriage, the business losses, the surprises, the uncertainties, the celebrations have all equaled growth, have all equaled The Power of Me.
What is The Power of You?
How do you feed yourself? In a rush, at a counter, in the car, over the sink? How do you rest? Do you catch ten in the car? Are you moving backwards, constantly trying to catch up? Or are you so far in the future you have forgotten to live today? How do you drink? In huge desperate gulps? In tiny sips to make it last? Do you drink to energize? Do you drink to obliterate?
Where are you right now? What have you suffered? What have you survived? What have you rejoiced? What have you regretted?
What have you lived? Where do you live? In this body of yours, do you make slow deliberate rows, straight and efficient preparing for what is next? Or do you hack and chop at the spent harvest hoping to yield more?
Are you sweet and sound? Are you the Prince or the Pauper? Do you encourage? Do you ask? Do you give love to all? Do you give love to you? Are you somersaulting? Standing? Sitting? Sliding?
Survey your surroundings. Bring yourself Home.
No matter what land you command, The Power of The Place is You.