Moving to Laguna Beach was a disturbing time for me. Diablo-Danville had been a time of creativity and mild successes. I was involved with the Church, the PTA, and the Arts. I knew almost everyone in our area. And I had a wonderful relationship with the children, three of them anyway.
And suddenly I knew no one. I remember sitting in the Laguna Beach amphitheater where our second daughter was graduating from High School. I looked around and knew two people in the audience. The parents of a girl I knew, the daughter of our garbage-man.
Our house was gradually turning into an empty nest. The promise of life going back to what it had been during our first five years of marriage was waning quickly. Looking back from this safe distance, I think I suffered from some kind of depression. Life was changing too quickly. One Daughter had moved in with her boyfriend at college. Another was living in a house at college where electrical wires were hanging loosely by the front door as you approached. Birth-control pills were kept openly in her bathroom. There were signs of drug use in the house. I had driven from Laguna Beach to Northern California to surprise my daughter, take her out for dinner, spoil her somehow, and instead I was surprised and my depression grew from a hint to a screaming (inward screaming) helplessness.
Driving home I saw a fantastic landscape. The mustard was in full bloom, almost blindingly yellow in the sun. But the dark sky foretelling thunder robbed one of the feeling of hope. And then there were the crows. Their blackness, and their ferocious screeching was almost scary. This was what my life was becoming. Fraught with uncertainties and danger and loneliness.
I had twelve or fourteen hours in the car driving home .. .And I had a mission