Santa Barbara was meant to be a temporary stopover for me while waiting for my departure to Katmandu, Nepal, on assignment with the Peace Corps. Fast forward 20 years, I have made the difficult decision to leave this beloved city to both literally and metaphorically walk into the “fire” that awaits me in the Sonoran Desert.

To be sure, my love for Santa Barbara supersedes any love I have had for any one individual. Both the gentleness of the climate and surrounding natural beauty have made space for me to explore aspects of my character and life that needed tending to. The power of place — this place — has been life changing.

May newcomers and old timers alike continue to respect all aspects of this community and the demographics that make up its diversity and history by supporting the conversation in process at Ortega Park to save the murals.

Goodbye, my love. I’ll see you down the road.


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