Friday, September 17, 2010

Out of This World

I’ve reclaimed my commute.

When I first arrived here, I was totally stunned by it. You trundle past waving rice stalks and quaint-looking houses and uniformed elementary kids all in a line, cross over beautiful clear-flowing rivers and then run alongside them north through the mountains.

About a month ago, my commute was (surprise?) not so startling anymore. I mean, it’s a commute. You make it every day. And at that time, it was still summer vacation; after that day I was four hours late, it became very hard to motivate myself to catch my morning bus. So I’d trudge to my car, climb aboard, and navigate myself upriver in a haze of wishing I were still abed, instead of northbound on 29, about to spend a good chunk of hours doing just whatever.

But I’m back; today was my first day of middle-school classes of the new semester. And on the bus I read, or sit and look out the window. Every piece of town I peer at in passing makes me think, it’s going to suck to leave this place.

I mean, I know I can’t make a life here forever, but for a moment there it seemed kind of silly to think of coming all the way here, doing whatever it is we do, and then tearing ourselves out of it again.

Furthermore, the kids we love best will graduate and go away, and ever flower will fade and fall off, and even the co-workers we like will be transferred eventually, or move to new cities, or make new lives. You can’t really stay in any place, because a place is also tied to a time, and time will never quit changing on you.

Of course I think about whether I should stay a third year. Have I mentioned it? I might have. I think about it a lot. Like all the time, it’s quietly at the back of my mind, quietly hanging out. I’m not worried about it yet, or about the way I some days feel like I know, and some days don’t. I am making an honest effort to follow my heart, but let’s be honest and admit that sometimes my heart has made choices my head can only conclude are STUPID.

I’m not worried because I’m convinced that by constantly weighing the yes against the no, the stay against the go, I will just know by the time February rolls around.

For now, better to just enjoy the advent of the first coolish day of fall, without the pressure of thinking it’s the last fall I’ll have here, nor the promise (and therefore excuse) that there will be many more.

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