To and Fro and Away

"To market, to market,
To buy a fat pig, 
Home again, home again, 
Jiggity, Jig..."

Traditional Nursery Rhyme

Sometimes the grind gets to be mind-numbing.  You wake up to that damn alarm, like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, and you just want to come out of your skin with the utter inanity of it all.  The days run together, its all exactly the same, you suffocate living through the week until you can shed it all and breathe again on Friday.  You have that fantasy that runs through your head when you get into your car at the end of each day, "I could just...keep driving.  Not go back."

Sometimes you actually get to do just that...go away.  You climb behind the wheel of the car and follow the impulse to just keep driving.  And the road stretches on and Van Morrison is singing about being beside you and rocking your gypsy soul and warm love as sweet as tupelo honey.  His hand is on your knee, absently twisting your fingers with his, and the moment is full of possibility and nostalgia at the exact same time; hope.  The options are endless.

As the road unwinds, your spirit follows suit.  The leaves are crunchy and the tops of the trees begin their transformation from lush summer green to their fall colors; a bleeding of color into the green so subtle that you have to pay attention to even see it's beginning.  Soybeans are ready to harvest, festival signs are everywhere, fields of goldenrod sway in the breeze, the air smells sweet with corn long ripe, thick with the Indian Summer humidity, the first tinge of wood smoke somewhere curls in as an afterthought, and you breathe...breathe so deeply.  You try to fill yourself with the change that is coming.   You want to begin a spell or a chant or a prayer or a verse to chase what is aching away and usher in the new day/season/era/time with something more.   You want the earth to whisper her tidings of comfort in your ear, timeless and constant.  You want to remember that this season always brings this yearning.

The road leads to lunch and a required visit and then the balm afterward of long awaited babies smiling and laughter with a good friend that you miss like a sister and then you are back in the car.   We can pretend we don't have to go back.  Let's just go back roads.  Just for awhile...  So you visit that shrine in that one town that is so peaceful and you take pictures and light a candle for a friend starting the next round of chemo and whisper a prayer that lifts up in the heavy quiet of the shrine, travelling like a speck of dust in the silence, and holiness comes in the form of architecture and patina on stone and stained glass and the great quiet, laden with all that have laid their burdens down in this space.


The road home is bittersweet, but his hand is still on your knee, comforting you with a touch and someplace inside of you, you begin to remember that this transition time always sucks and it will be OK again sometime soon.  You have a moment of gratitude for the perspective that away always gifts and you medicate the melancholy with thoughts of pumpkins and long walks in the cool of fall with the hounds, leaves crunching underfoot, and all of the hundreds of ways to make a bourbon cocktail involving apple cider, maple syrup, or bitters.  

And you try not to take yourself so damn seriously.

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