Wednesday, December 30, 2009

This part, right here

i'm mostly ready to go home, yet i feel reluctant to leave. the pull of home includes our bed and the cats. ("the bed" is not metaphorical. i love that actual mattress, those specific sheets, the pillows, the bedside lighting.) i want to ramble around in my own kitchen. i need to be sure that everything in the house is shipshape - a quick peek would do, a tour through all the rooms to be sure our tchatchkas are still arranged the way i like them, the wireless is working, birds are still frequenting the backyard, nothing's happened in the spare room. i miss the intellectual stimulation of everyday life: reading the newspaper, talking to friends/colleagues, teaching. i want to live the heather-and-mo life again. i want to be dry.

on the other hand, there are many things i'll miss about being here. for one, the breakfast pastry run. i typically head out around 7:30 to walk the four blocks to zermatt's. some sellers are opening up, but most shops are still shuttered and sleepy. police officers lean on the town square's walls, chatting. locals hail each other on the street while their dogs check out the action. at this hour, you hear mexican radio as trucks unload wares at the back door and municipal streetsweepers prepare for the day.

another thing i'll miss is the magnificent frigate bird. you look up in the sky and there is the most incredible creature, elegant of wing and long of tail. when the frigate bird sees something intriguing, she forks her tail to hover in one spot until she's satisfied. on the windward beach the other day, i hoped and hoped and hoped - and feared - she was looking at me.

also, i'll miss her opposite, the stout workaday pelican. with their big waterbird wings they cruise just over the waves. when they see a fish they fancy, they divebomb with the force of a kid's cannonball, swallow, then sit on the waves quite proud of themselves.

i will miss bare feet that are never cold (as they are in edmonton, even in the summer). i will miss being able to walk out of the house at any hour of the day or night wearing...whatever you happen to be wearing. i will miss the sight of the ocean just two blocks down the road. i will miss the walkable city. i've thought a lot about scale, these last few days, what it means for a road to be a single lane, how great it is to live within five blocks of the mercado municipal, with its mounds of papayas, peppers of every kind, and beans. you don't have to shop like you live in the suburbs; you can just buy what you need that day. i realize this is a trite observation, but it really matters.

so: as the lovely jen has said: i hate this part, right here. i'm mentally prepared to move on, but it's not quite here yet. especially given certain recent (international) events, there will be a whole lot of agony between leaving and arriving. so for today, let the beach - sun, sand, fish, quiet - be enough.

No comments: