Your Turn

Contemplating the significance of the ‘Cambria Return’

Special to The CambrianJanuary 8, 2013 

There is a term in astrology called the “Saturn Return.” A Saturn Return is when the planet Saturn makes its way around the sky (i.e., as it travels around the Sun), to the same place it occupied at a particular moment. In astrology, this moment is usually one which coincides with a person’s birth, or with some other specific event. It purportedly occurs every 28 years, more or less.

I’m not an astrologer, so I can’t begin to grasp the full impact of the Saturn Return in regards to a person’s life or a particular event. As an observer of phenomena, I can comment on another wonder of the universe: the “Cambria Return.” The Cambria Return goes like this: Someone is born in or moves to Cambria. During this first period in the village of Cambria, one is exposed to the marvels of life in the village set in a forest which spreads to the sea.

For some, the enchantment remains forever. For others, the village charms loosen their grip. Often, especially for young people born and raised here, it is Cambria’s small-town nature, and its lack of city energy that makes them set their sights on other places. For others, the grip relaxes as other adventures call.

This last was how it was for my wife, Kathy, and me, as we took our adventurous spirits on the road and moved to Mexico. We’ve been there for the past six years. While there on the high plateau, outside of a small city called San Miguel de Allende, we built a “green” home, created a small quiet garden sanctuary and we pursued what we called a “creative sabbatical.” And time passed. And the planets moved in the sky around the sun.

Cambria Return is that moment in a former Cambrian’s life, one who has left to seek the lights of the city or some new adventure, when the planets realign and the villager is recalled to the village. We could feel our own Cambria Return starting to align last year. Then, suddenly, this October, the alignment was complete and we were packed up and driving back “home.”

And here we are. For those under the influence of Cambria Return, and there have been many over the years (everyone who’s had this experience raise their hands), there are moments like the one where Dorothy in the “Wizard of Oz” wakes up and looks around. We recognize familiar friends and faces, and places. Neighbors and friends all greet us like we never left, and marveling that we’ve been gone so long, they all welcome us home.

Main Street is still Main Street, with a few changes here and there; downtown Burton is still brimming with commerce. There’s Farmers Market and the Vet’s Hall and, especially the beloved library, with the friendliest librarians in the world. Hospitality Night makes the return official.

Now that we’ve arrived, the years have faded, compressed. It seems like we never left. Such is the magic of Cambria Return. It’s great to be home.

Eddie Palmer is — again — a Cambria resident. For more on his time in Mexico, go to .com/site/casitadosarbolitos/ and click on “My Mexico: Blog Posts” in the right-hand column. Email your “Your Turn” musings about Cambria — what it is, how it affects us; what we like about it and, for that matter, what could be better — to cambrian@thetribune

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