SteppingBack

steppingback
"I can warmly anticipate what I have been cooly disdaining."

I usually step closer to gain better perspective, but sometimes, just sometimes, SteppingBack from an object does the trick. Anyone can get so close to anyplace that they lose the ability to really see what's there. Familiarity eventually starts breading that old reliable contempt, but insert even the threat of some away time, and the old place starts to sparkle again. The numbing routines start throwing off pre-nostalgia vibes. The better-worn paths start seeming well-suited rather than simply scuffed. The surest way for me to break a bout of early Spring cabin fever entails planning some getaway.

The Muse has a meeting in New Orleans and had planned to just fly there and back, but we'd been pining after a road trip, so I suggested that perhaps—just perhaps—we could drive there instead.
My entrenched routines' ears immediately perked up. Half a dozen procrastinated chores resolved themselves overnight. I gazed on our realm with the fresh appreciation only an impending absence encourages. No pep talk needed. No spark of motivation required. The threat of absence seems to make my heart grow fonder.

Ten days away should bring us back just as Spring finally, unambiguously arrives. The Muse wondered if we might perhaps set out the deck garden this weekend, but I advised against it. Mornings still hover at or just below freezing, and though the afternoons might some days almost reach eighty, the warmth just encourages unrealistic expectations in a budding petunia or tender geranium. Better to wait and even better to wait a fair distance from the faunchy front lines. Down South, we'll encounter mid-summer weather. We will have already missed the much-awaited lilac bloom and will likely find iris already turned beige and crispy. Here, the cranky last few days of winter will do what they may, what they always do in May, playing fickle with our overwrought anticipation. We'll celebrate our first day of spring on the first day of June, as usual, this year.

I fear I've been too focused for far too long. I need an injection of improbabilities. I need to sleep in a bed my body has not yet grown to anticipate and to rely exclusively upon the kindness of genuine strangers. There, wherever that might turn out to be, I can dream of the place we left as if it were out of my reach, which it will be when we're there. I can store up ideas for welcoming ourselves back home. I can warmly anticipate what I have been cooly disdaining. A few days filled with tangible geographic goals, accumulating milestones both there and back again. We should end up just where we began, but different. The difference began when we first stepped back and will have concluded long after we return, if ever. Sometimes, the best way to find home is to leave it for awhile.

©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved









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