Summer is summer, as usual, but this year things feel a little different. It’s much cooler in the mornings than it should be for early August in South Texas. “Much cooler” is relative, I know. Let’s not get crazy. It’s still 83 degrees with 70% humidity at 7AM, but the last few years have been so terribly brutal, this seems like an early reprieve from what has been an already not terrible summer.
For the last three months I have been wearing the same two skirts and two tank tops nearly every day, but my incredibly small wardrobe isn’t the reason for my readiness for wearing a different kind of clothing. Every year in August I always itch to wear jeans again. Inevitably, I try it out and immediately regret it.
We’ve been doing a large amount of driving. I go to physical therapy twice a week in a city that is not ours. It’s a four hour round trip just driving. Two times a week. We’re usually gone, all told, for about six and a half hours.
We take the scenic route, because it’s only ten minutes longer and well, scenic. Every time we leave the city limits of our current home, I feel a weight lifted off of my shoulders. As we roll through the Hill Country, I stare out at the vast vista baking under the hot Texas sun and remember that at one time I thought I could make this place my home.
I now know that even if I could, I don’t want to. This isn’t my place.
I’m ready to live somewhere where I have no memories, where the past doesn’t jump out at me in the shadows. I’m not as nostalgic as I should probably be. I’ve been swimming in these waters for so long, said my goodbyes to so many places so many times, that I just don’t feel connected here. It’s not denial. It’s acceptance. Acceptance of the fact that my time in this place is over. It gave me what it gave me, and now I’m ready to move forward.
One day, in the future, I know I’ll look back and miss the smell of certain things and the way the light falls on the ground in late summer. I’ll miss the familiarity of this, the place I’ve lived the longest. But I won’t mourn it. I know that already.
I’ve lived enough places to know you can never really go back. Even if you return, you can’t go back.
This time, I don’t even want to return.
When the tiny house sold at the beginning of June, Casey and I watched it roll away with its lovely new owner. When we turned around to look at the empty place where it had been parked, I realized that where there once sat thousands of hours of steel and lumber and nails, there was now a wide view of the sky.
The metaphor was not lost on me.