Patriotic Stirrings

I recently posted a piece called "Familiar Beauty". This piece carries a similar idea in that it is an acknowledgment of another one of my favorite places to be: a California Beach.

I am happy on any beach, really, but coming from California means that I feel especially welcome on the beaches in my home state. I never felt this way before I moved to Scotland: a beach was a beach was a beach, no matter where it was. Now, after distancing myself quite a bit from California, I feel more connected and, strangely, loyal to my state. I feel the way I would imagine subjects in olden times felt towards a benevolent monarch. The sentiment is rather difficult to explain, as it doesn't entirely make sense to me that I would connect so deeply to a place, but I suppose that, as an ex patriot, I am finally starting to feel patriotic. Ironic, isn't it, that to feel connected to my country I have to leave it?