July 25, 2014

Goodbye My Dear Topanga

 

PHOTO COURTESY OF SHARON SIEGEL

Goodbye My Dear Topanga

Dear Editor,

Here I sit with tears in my eyes among boxes, bags and great piles of stuff that I’ve lived with, and loved, here in Topanga during the past 42 years. No room for my treasures in my new home; busy packing, recycling, gifting, trashing and relocating what I can.

I was about 27 when I first arrived here—starry eyed and half-stoned in 1970. My life goal then was to be a wife and mother. Little did I know that Life would have different roads than that for me to travel; I would not “mother” issue of my flesh or by adoption; I would become PhD in psychology and serve as a Marriage Family Psychotherapist as my heartfelt life path and career; I would find and relish Goddess spirituality from my Jewish roots; I would be clean and sober for 19 years [and counting]; discover much to my surprise that I would come out as a lesbian, and unimaginable even now, that I would ever leave my Dear Sweet Topanga.

As a young Topangan I envisioned being very active in our community. I imagined having “my children” in the Co-Op Preschool and in our elementary school; I would be active in the PTA, assist the TCC to grow and thrive; I’d work and serve at our Memorial Day parades, train with the Docents, and I would hike in our hills. It didn’t turn out that way. I’ve always worked 40-50 hours a week in The City, and the blessing of that was always, especially, that I got to come home here every night. Working such hours prevented me from getting to know most of my neighbors… and that has been a great loss for me. On the other hand, Spirit was kind, and gave me the Portman Family as my neighbors, and in the last few years Kajsa and her children too. Aaaaah! Good people of Topanga!

But surely it is time to go… I am a strong and healthy 69-year old who is capable of sorting, packing and moving on. I see my age-mates in various stages of decline—although many are as vibrant as I am. Yet, none of us is really able to keep working full time, drive 500 miles a week, or walk safely up and down steep hills. I’ll relocate to my little condo in Palm Springs… and I will deeply miss the sky above Topanga, the sweet dark earth and Basalt rock, friendly people in our restaurants, markets, the Center, and our grand new library, the big umbrella-shade Oak Trees and my rustic little cottage here.

Thank you Topanga, for infusing my Being with your blessings. To say that I will miss you is an enormous under-statement.

I love you Topanga.

— Namaste,

Sharon Siegel