Today I feel achingly sad.
Has this happened to you?
You travel to a tropical location, wrestling yourself from mid-winter’s fierce snowing grip.
You sip umbrella pina coladas in a pool which looks like it swims effortlessly into the Pacific Ocean.
You reconnect with loved ones, dear family members who live hundreds and hundreds of miles away.
You fly like a blue butterfly from pink to yellow to orange tropical flowers.
And then you wing home to your black and white world.
At first, you’re excited and busy. You talk non-stop to your beloved husband, sharing all sorts of faraway stories. You talk for an hour and a half, never pausing.
Then you work hard, hard, hard to catch up on your two part-time jobs. You’re a paragon of efficiency, all get-up-and-go. You check off one hundred and six items on your catch-up to-do list.
And then, a few days later, you wake up with tears on your pillow, feeling off, feeling bereft, trying to remember what just happened. Did you dream and now you’ve awakened? Or were you awake and then you dreamed?
Only flitting memories remain, and their vibrancy and immediacy disappear way too quickly. Hands you held six days ago are gone. Hugs and laughter relegated to memory’s fickle shores. The bright colors–where are they? The languid warmth–what happened?
Here along the shores of Lake Superior we’re experiencing one of the warmest winters in memories. Our beloved Keweenaw Bay may not even freeze over. Ice fishermen fume, fuss, mourn. Snow does exist piled up outside the doors–how much?–nine inches? a foot?–it’s hard to tell without a trusty yardstick. Too much to walk happily without snowshoes, methinks. Not enough to feel like you’re in a “real” Upper Peninsula winter. Today’s high temperature predicts to be 40 degrees (4.4 Celcius).
Even in Nicaragua last week, folks talked about the odd winter weather in the United States.
It adds to my disconcerting emotions this morning.
Readers, never fear. Do not try to talk me out of my Sunday morning post-trip droopy aching sadness. This is a long-established pattern among lovers-of-travel.
It’s the price we pay for sprouting wings.
You dream of travel for months in advance. You travel. You return home. And then you say goodbye to your focus, your expectations, your enjoyment, your sunscreen.
You feel blue. You wait until your life catches up with you, and you wait to see what memories will remain when the reality-of-home settles next to the reality-of-travel.
You take off your wings and pack them in your suitcase, deep down in the dark basement. You peer at your trusty feet, surprised that they exist. You unwrap your home-heart, the heart of your hearth, and tuck it tenderly into your chest.
Snifflingly yours this surprising bright sunny morning, Love, Kathy