Stranger in a not-entirely-strange land

I’ve done the migration thing, and now I’m here and not there. My house back there is safe and sound under the watchful eyes of friends, neighbors, the local police and my home alarm company. Now that I’m here I don’t have to worry about ice or snow when I go running, so if I can summon the energy I’ll be out tomorrow morning at the crack of dawn to run before it gets too warm.

My cats recognize this place and seem perfectly comfortable here, or at least they are glad to be somewhere solid after three days on the road. As for me, it’s bettter than it was in September when I spent five days here and the walls were screaming at me, “Kurt is not here!” My subconscious mind seems to be accepting that Kurt is not here (or anywhere) but that I am still very much here and in the process of creating a new life for myself.

Now I just need to make some friends here, a few more than I have now.

This seasonal migration thing was never my idea, and at the moment I’m thinking that I don’t want to live this way but I’m willing to give it some time. Meanwhile I confess that I am enjoying Mexican food, sunshine, fresh-picked grapefruit and the prospect of an ice-free morning run. I spent some time today driving around town simply soaking in some of the world-class mid-century modern architecture and relishing the idea of running past a couple of those icons tomorrow morning. How’s this for inspiration?

Good thing I stopped wearing the heart monitor. My pulse probably goes way off the scale when I run past this house. It almost makes me forget, if only for a moment, about running along the waterfront with bald eagles and harlequin ducks and the mournful cry of loons. When I am here and not there, thinking about there is almost too gut-wrenching, and vice versa. I really want to be deeply rooted in a community… and yet there is always the pull of novelty, the restlessness that I absorbed from Kurt’s gyspy-like approach to life. As I drove south on that three-day trip, I saw thousands of migrating birds (including a flock of 50-80 white pelicans in low formation flight, which was one of the most amazing wildlife sightings I have ever had), and I sort of understood their seasonal pull to fairer skies.

What I need to do now is simply let myself be here, and enjoy it… or not. In any case I am running a half marathon here in February, and the route goes past the aforementioned house twice — the only hilly part of the course — so I’d better get out my door and resume my interrupted running schedule first thing tomorrow morning.

Posted on November 28, 2011, in Architecture, LIfe_goes_on, Running and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Whether you’re here or there, I think you carry Kurt with you, in the sweetest sense of that meaning. Think about the fact that someone like me (who I think lives very close to your “here”) is learning that Kurt had a “gypsy-like approach to life.” And other dear things, of course. I think you’ll find that community you hope to find. In the meantime, I hope that knowing you have readers who are really pulling for you provides a little taste of an uncommon community. The scenery may be less Walden Pond, but enjoy the running without snow, sleet and ice! Debra

    • Debra,
      Yes I think I am not far from you at all, and I totally agree that being willing to put oneself out there as a blogger brings wonderful unexpected gifts of community. Kurt will always be with me wherever I go, and my life will go on to new places in ways that he inspired. Thanks as always for your words of encouragement and support.

  2. Lori,

    I believe that the sunshine will benefit you. Happy trails towards that half-marathon. 🙂


  3. This is so beautifully written.
    I often wonder if I could live that life, home-base changing with the seasons. Part of me very adventurous, but there is also a very solid, calculating, over-thinking part of me. Hmmm…

    • Alicia,
      I am honored by your compliment.
      This really is a two-way tug between places, made even more complex by the fact that cats are not migratory by nature. When we go, we have to commit to being gone for a while. I think we’ll all feel better once we’re settled, but it is a grueling sort of adventure.

  4. You must now be more south than I am. 😆 We have a bird sanctuary here for all the birds that migrate south for the winter. A few years ago, my kids asked when the birds were going to fly south for the winter, and I explained that we *are* south. 😆 Except for my hummers….

    You cannot beat the Mexican food, though. I have become a total green chile addict!

    Look around, maybe on to see what kind of races are out your way- you may find a link to a local runner’s club, which could be a great way to meet people. 🙂

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