Village Matters


Ten Percent into a New Century



Far away from Laguna, into a different life, a life of family that takes us in when we are orphans of Christmas time.

Stories of love and sadness, of imperfect childhoods making new patterns in fresh lives that could have been more simple and serene.

Broken marriages, lives changed by impossible-to-cure diseases, aging accelerated, yet optimism prevailed. 

Deaths unaccounted and unplanned, and not understood, even years later, leaving unfilled gaps and the open palms of questioning.

Wishing the closed palms of praying could be assumed with confidence.

A time of looking way, way back and wondering how did all that time pass, and yet we inside are the same. There are just fewer of us.

The terra cotta warriors stand guarding. Some are crumbling into dust, others still resolutely strong.

The new naïve, giggling and wondering what to make of a hazy life ahead, not knowing an assassinated Kennedy or the new-found freedoms of the moon children.

Having to rebel against smooth, untatooed skin and unpunctured faces. Computer games and answers. Couldn’t the pioneers in their covered wagons have used their gps system?

All of us herded into another year, another decade, none of us the wiser, only hoping that good efforts make good results, that justice prevails, that charity wins over avarice, that love conquers all.


Ann Christoph is a landscape architect and former mayor and councilmember of Laguna Beach.

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