We've lived in some beautiful places-- Oregon, California, New Mexico, and now we're headed to Washington and when I say we I mean the three of us, my husband and son and yours truly, and when I say Washington I mean the Pacific Northwest state.
Living in Oregon and making our home there feels like a waking dream sometimes, bits and pieces I loved about myself that feel lost forever like raindrops in a river. And then Mariposa, in California, where probably we could have lived if it hadn't been California. Then Santa Fe, NM, a truly unique city, and I am thankful for the opportunities it has provided. But this little cabin on the Pecos River has been my favorite home so far.
I lost myself for a while. It was painful, and not just for me. My philosophy hasn't changed but I feel more able to apply it to me now. So much time and effort and work to discover it's okay to change. Those two sentences sound like a paradox. Nostalgia is a sickness. Can't step into the same river twice. I felt for a few years like I were drowning, and in a way I did. Re-discovering me has been very good.
The walks along the river with my boy and the dogs and the cat, those I do treasure. It's the big Pecos Wilderness wild woods yet feels so comforting, wind sighing in the trees, the water sliding and tumbling over the rocks, all the clean air high mountain smells of fresh water, pines, riparian woodlands. We have names for the spots along the river, The Drop-off, The Point, The Oaks. Our path connects them through the alders, wild roses, willows, oaks, maples, cottonwoods, firs & pines. D's Tree is at the Drop-off. I think we identified it as a hop-hornbeam. He likes to climb up into the branches, which form a tight cradle around him. It's too small for me to climb.
We'll be leaving this wonderful place soon, and I am both treasuring the things I love and also distancing myself from it, which is not always the easiest compromise of emotions. Our future adventures will take us to other rivers-- not just any river, but the Columbia River-- and I am looking forward to being close to the Pacific Ocean again. I will miss this mountain home, but I don't want to miss this opportunity to move back to the Pacific NW. It... feels like we're going home.