Except for a two-year sojourn to the deep South, we've lived in Napa, California since the summer of 1989. And we've lived at our current address since the Spring of 1995. About a quarter mile from our house is a park next to an elementary school. The park consists a handful of picnic areas and a large meadow surrounded by a meandering track that's .4 miles long. The track looks like it used to be a par course. The half dozen small, rectangular, paved stops at regular intervals around the track give it away. The pieces of exercise equipment have all been replaced by park benches which undoubtedly see more use than the equipment ever did. I used to run around the track, now I walk. The slower pace allows me to take in the scene more thoroughly, to notice the change of seasons, to pay attention to how my neighborhood park looks at different times of year and different times of the day. My favorite view is from the far west side of the track looking back towards Napa's eastern hills. The base of the hills is obscured by suburban flora that includes palm trees, redwoods, and all sorts of hardwoods. The effect is remarkably pleasant and I purposely take it all in each time I'm on that section of the track. The fact is that most of the trees are non-native species, as they say. Even the redwoods would not normally grow in Napa's hot, flat valley floor. But you see, that's the deal with California: it's constantly being reinvented. It seems to attract dreamers wanting to fashion new meanings and contexts for their lives, dreamers whose words and deeds fashion new meaning for the rest of us. It's a fertile place, not just for grapes and wheat and oranges, but for men and women bursting with energy and ideas, hungry for change. They come to California, as I first did, determined their future will be better than their past, responding to a timeless human drive.