Sitting on the landing, a staircase made of stone. The smell of jasmine and a million other earth bound flowers I could never name ease their way through the canyon on a wind reserved for these hills alone. This is the home of my friend. We met years ago when I was barely out of high school. At the time, he was the first record executive I had come in contact with and his love for my band and our songs lead him to do a very strange thing. He befriended us. There was little talk initially of working together. The band was young and still growing and his instincts pointed to the long road. He was right. He offered insight upon insight, laughter and respect. In those days he had just moved to these hills and to this house whose staircase I find myself typing at, computer clinging to my cross-legged seat. Needless to say being invited to a place like this at a time like that was the teenage equivalent of making it, or at least the closest thing to it I had know. My band mates and I would come up on the weekends, listen to music, hear stories, meet the occasional celebrity and brag upon our return hoping to impress our friends back home. I remember this place like a dream. The view from the balcony, lit up at night with a million stars flickering from that flat land below. Years later, it’s the same home I recall, only now it’s filled with children, the trees are a little taller and there are a few more shining gold records dressing the walls and the hallways. I will always be grateful to my friend with the wooden castle and a staircase of stone; For his belief in me and my music, but more so for the kindness and wisdom he’s imparted so delicately over the years. These days, I still camp out in his garage studio putting new songs together, sometimes for myself but more recently for another dear friend to whom I have lent a similar quiet guidance. There are moments I wonder if he sees this place the way I did, those early hope filled nights. Will he look back one day and think of me the way I think of my old friend? And will the million man made stars now flickering below remind him of a future that may very well be his own. I certainly hope so.