Wednesday, November 09, 2011

a sense of place

When I moved here from California three years ago to care for my mother in the time of her failing health, I felt I was returning from a war zone to the promised land. Southern California was literally burning behind me as I crossed the Columbia River at the Washington-Oregon border -- "Like crossing the Jordan" I remember thinking at the time.

After mom's passing I spent a year in her place "over there," on the other side of the water, in what I've taken to referring to as "the Enchanted Forest" of the Olympic Peninsula. At the time I thought my future lay in the big city, so I crossed over, took an apartment in Seattle, and began working. But I never felt like I belonged here, and the feeling was borne out by the oracle I consult from time to time.

Now, after two years in the big shitty, it seems I'm in the process of gradually relocating again, back to the "other side," about 10 miles from where I started out. It's lovely on the other side, where the pace is much, much slower and there's room to stretch. There's not much pavement, so you can take your shoes off and feel your feet on the earth.

More importantly, I now know it's where, and with whom I belong.

When shadows fall
And trees whisper, "Day is ending",
My thoughts are ever wending home.
When crickets call,
My heart is forever yearning
Once more to be returning home.

--"When Shadows Fall" (Home)
by Peter Van Steeden, Jeff Clarkson, and Harry Clarkson, 1931

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