December Great Story by Naomi Lopez, 2018-19 Central Inland Opportunity Access Fellow
Moved by Mountains;
When Will I Move Mountains?
I was excited to be back in Southern California and close to my family and to get out of this NorCal weather. I should be used to it by now, but every year it?s the same and the fact that I spent 4 years in Davis and then 1 in Sacramento seems to never count. I just miss the 8 months of summer.
The drive was long, but I was lucky to have my best friend caravan to LA with me, where we would split off into our hometowns. We had left very early in the morning and by 2pm we were crossing through the grapevine. (I don’t why it’s called that, maybe because of some historical context that I am completely unaware of, but to me it just looks like a road through the mountains).
I felt that something was different this time around. It was 70 degrees outside and the sun was shining on and throughout the whole mountain range. It was getting steeper, and soon I caught a glimpse of Pyramid Lake. Maybe it was the romanticized movie setting of my windows rolled down and Cocteau Twins blasting through the mediocre sound system my car came with, or that I was so excited about the weather, but in that moment I felt content about the state of my life. I reflected deeply on how working within and getting to know an amazing group of people who are at the forefront of sustainable practices in California and will implement their vision for future generations to come. I had almost forgotten at how important I thought sustainability was and it’s been very refreshing and nice to be around people who feel the same.
I looked at the mountains while I was having my movie moment, and I thought about where I would be at the end of my fellowship term. I was convinced that even though I wasn’t sure about where I would end up in the state, that it was about time that I felt that I could make great strides. I’d be able to achieve my personal and professional goals, becoming an inspiration to those around me. I’d be able to move mountains, in the same way they moved me right there on the 5 fwy.