every so often, i've noticed there are points in one's life when you can feel the turning of the Wheel. the end of summer is like that for me, as is the beginning of the spring... for some reason i am acutely aware, at those times, of the slow slide of one season into the next.
i am acutely aware, now, as i prepare to go down on friday and begin to pack up my grandmother's house. i would really rather not do this ... not because of her pain, but because of mine.
this House looms large in the iconography of my soul. forever it has stood, big as a battleship, an incongrous green, the foundation of all i call Home. it is not a house i ever actually lived in for any period of time longer than six or seven weeks - it is, however, the House of my Tribe. forever i will be the One Who Sold the House.
i always liked ocean city. i love the beach, the smell of the salt air spiced with stale popcorn, cotton candy and amusement park grease. i love the small blocks, that got smaller as i grew, the neatly logical way the streets were laid out so that even as a small child, i remember taking comfort in the way i could always calculate my way home. i loved the dark wet sand under the boardwalk, the slick smooth jetties that beckoned with their secret tidal pools.
of course i can come back. of course i can buy another house. of course i could live there if i so choose. but i know - or at least i doubt - if i will. my life has taken me to other places, shown me other ways to live, offered me other options even more lovely, rich and rare. the world is a bigger place than the towns those dusty beach roads lead to, and i have not bound myself in any way at all to the strictures of the past.
but i will go down to the beach at dawn... i will plunge my fingers in the sand. i will breathe in the scent of the waves and i will weep at the cries of the gulls.