The tide has turned and I am facing westward now as my visit here has only a week left and with that change of direction, my heart begins the ache of leave taking while the counterpoint of west coast life arises in the mind in bit and pieces. Oh, the hole in the wall where the phone comes out, the indoor plants survival, the screens for the porch, the garden, the landscaping, the women's weekend all begin to arise and then fade, arise and dance for a while, or arise and bring restlessness. The current fog of concerns about what to buy for supper, what to do this weekend, what show to watch on TV, which child is crying, whining, laughing or in need, who is in a good, bad, touchy mood, all subsumed under "what is the relative health of the family amoeba", begins to shift and lighten so that there are clear spaces where the end is seen, alarming as it is, and now enlarges.
A strange experience, this double life. On both ends of leave taking this is a heart wrenching that must be acknowledged. Leaving isn't like walking down the street or driving to the next town a few minutes or hours away where left possessions can be retrieved and sore hearts relieved quickly. It is a major life threatening endeavor to gather up and pack the essentials and get to the taxi, the airport and get through the lines, the shoes off, the computer out of it's case, and on to loading up in the tin can with wings, packed in elbow to elbow, knees bumping the forward seat, to sit quietly, grateful for whatever crappy distracting movie, the crossword puzzle in the magazine, the occasional glance out the window, oh, Midwest, oh Rockies, to be in a limbo state of suspended animation which is broken only when the wheel hit the tarmac and everyone suddenly comes to life, cell phones on, "I'm here" personalities emerge, chatter between formerly ignored seat partners begins, life resumes, impatient from it's six hour suppression to pick up the bags and get on with itself.
We Hyampomians, of course, also have the food shopping, the random appointment to take care of, the gassing up, and then the three hour winding drive complete with road closures ahead of us. We can't hurry. So that when I at last drive downriver and down the driveway, always alert for changes, disasters, tasks done or undone, the trip has been prolonged enough that I'm almost back into the west coast mode and the jet lag on this end is much less noticeable. Plus I've been up all night in west coast time and it's easy to hang loose with the fatigue and sleepiness until it's time to crash. Home again!
I love my life. My grandkids are a constant joy. I like being able to navigate the Boston big city experience. I love Hyampom and the small town and wildlife world and my west coast friends. And strangely, I have even come to love the limbo state which transports me from one of these magic realms to the other. When I flew here, I was on wifi on the plane instant messaging with Jennifer who was in conference in Redding with the Sims Mt. fire lawyers and she was relating the global settlement negotiations--"they're offering $750, now it's $800 as I kept replying, "Hang in there" and looked out the window to see the flooding Mississippi shining up at me, one of the most surreal real experiences I've ever had. All flights have some resemblance to retreat because all desire for ease, for food, for movement, for all the ways we usually comfort ourselves are unavailable and since life and death are in the balance there is heightened awareness. Magic all around me.