Out There

Everyone I talk to lately assures me that the future looks bright indeed. As if the 27 straight days of measurable rain were some sort of urban myth, not to be taken seriously.

This bright new year finds us on a new course, heading to Seattle, land of mists and volcanoes. I’m fairly excited about the change, in truth. But, being the sort of rooted, gardening type that I am, the whole process of digging up everything we own and shipping it across country, to say nothing of leaving behind a large portion of my family and personal history, has been not a little, shall we say, unsettling. I guess that’s the point, really.

Settlers settle and pioneers push on. Not that I consider myself a pioneer in any way. Too fond of modern plumbing for a start. But, certain aspects of the pioneer approach definitely appeal. The letting go of regrets associated with all the dubious decisions made in the last few decades. The shedding of that stifling layer of sentiment and nostalgia that gets thicker with each passing year. I find myself looking forward to being in a place that doesn’t constantly remind me of happier or sadder times.

I’m ready to pack up those memories and put them in storage for a while. However, one of the pitfalls of packing up the stuff you tend to acquire over the course of raising three children is that you keep coming across scraps of paper, shards of the past, and you never know when one will suddenly explode in your face, leaving you gasping for breath and digging the shrapnel out of your heart. I honestly try not to look at the stuff anymore while I’m throwing it out, or into boxes. But every now and then a fragment cuts through. There should be some sort of armor for this.

Anyway, we’re almost done now, and ready for the movers. And everyone I know here seems to think I’ll be happy in Seattle. They always say, “You’ll love it out there.” I don’t know what makes them so sure.

I’m willing to hope for the best. But, sometimes I wonder. Though I’ve sealed up the boxes, and tossed and shredded a world of history, the memories still cling to the hull of the ship. I’m not sure I could scrape them off, even if I wanted to, without damaging the vessel. They are a part of me. They are in me. And they’ll still be here, in me, even when I’m “out there.”

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