Home again, if only briefly!

I've been indoors so much I can hardly keep my eyes open in sunlight, but it is blissful outside, the clouds having finally moved out for one of those oversaturated late-summer afternoons. We're on the edges of fall these days - the walnut trees are turning yellow, the virginia creeper red, and the sycamores are just the tiniest bit brittle around the edges. I have to say it's a relief, and not just from the heat.

There's something about autumn that's inherently lonesome, encouraging of solitude. Driving up and down the state the past few weeks I've been filled with excitement I never get from other seasons. While winter and spring tie me home to cook and clean and garden, and summer languishes for want of companionship, fall has always felt like a push outwards, frightening in a natural way. Summer fear is oppressive, suffocating, and winter despairing, but fear in autumn points toward the thing unknown, the justified fear of adventure.

I ran a route today I haven't in nearly a year, long enough not only for huge trees to have fallen, but for their spaces to have filled back in. Although my relationship with the people in my environment is strained at best, the physical parts always seem to welcome me. My feet meet the ground the same way they did a year ago, or four, the same streets I've run and biked more than once looking for a new place to live. It's hard to go back, knowing that though you can run past, even slowing down as you pass by, you can't enter places that were once yours, and that even if you did they would be changed.

All this to say I'll be disappearing again for the next several weeks. On a boat, this time! I wonder how water changes you. Maybe I'll develop a penchant for the sea and never truly come back again.

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