I have had what I consider to be the God given pleasure to be able to live in Anza, California, most of my life and considering my currant age that’s a long time. I have seen many changes in this country, people coming and people going. Businesses coming and going. I have seen ventures of growing jojoba, apples and pine trees.
There is a beauty about Anza that city folk don’t know about or sometimes even want to understand. Some say it’s just a windy dirty, dust ridden little town where there is nothing to do and far away from anything to do and quite frankly they are right. It is windy in Anza (no one can deny that with an average daily wind of 15 mph.) Dusty yes (it comes when you have wind).
I draw the line with folks when they want to call Anza dirty. That’s when I have to consider they are city folk and just don’t understand. I love the wind in Anza, the clouds the view of the mountains. Another thing I love about Anza is the smells. Ever smell the scent of Redshank after a summer rain, or sage, maybe a whiff of pine in the air? The fields of wheat in the morning, wild flowers, buckwheat, chamomile, all scents that please the senses and fill the soul, that is if you don’t have allergies. Even the other smells are just country, like the smell of cattle or horses even the smell of something that has died it still makes for a country smell. I love the smell of Anza it smells like “freedom.”
Over the past year or two there has been another smell in Anza. The first time I smelled it I thought a skunk had passed through, but I kept smelling it in the same places in Anza. One day I was driving my grandson into town and mentioned to him that there must be a lot of skunks around this year.
He told me, “Grandpa that’s not skunk smell, that’s marijuana. People are growing it here now to medicinal purposes.”
Since that day I have smelled it more and more. Finally, last summer I awoke in the morning to the smell of it coming in my window. Now I understand that many people believe that it is a good medicine, I understand that cancer patients sometimes use it to enhance their appetite. I understand that is almost basically legal here and in other states and quite frankly, I don’t care if some people want to get “High” on it. I figure what you do in your own home is your own business. If it’s voted in as being legal in a free democratic society then so be it.
But losing the natural smell of my beloved Anza, especially on a sun filled morning after a rain, saddens my heart.