I told a friend earlier today that I was giving social media the big swollen middle finger for Lent, that I needed some quiet, and the hope that a clarity will rise. In the spaces where I might check Facebook or Instagram, I’ve chosen a couple of books to read—Kathleen Norris’ Amazing Grace and Pam Houston’s Deep Creek. I’ve long found these two writers fascinating, their view of the world radiant as opposed to clever. Twitter is clever, and I’m so freakin’ tired of clever. Since I consider them both friends, I will call them by their first names. Kathleen names her best work as when she is “writing from the center….when we write about what matters to us most.” I’ve never heard Pam say “writing from the center,” she simply does it.
The weather here yesterday was simply awful. Blowing snow and biting wind, the temperature loitered in the teens all day. I’d made a quick trip to the grocery store in the afternoon and in the bookends to that trip—walking in the store, then walking out—I caught a chill that I’m not sure I ever shook. I went to sleep last night with my socks on. I cannot recall that last time I did that. While I do intend, as far as I have any control, to die with my boots on, I’d rather not sleep with socks on. But while this morning dawned cold, the sun quickly worked its magic bumping our temps up in the high 30s, balmy practically. I ran errands this afternoon in shorts. Life, like the weather, can change in a seeming instant. I had a woman once tell me “things don’t happen suddenly,” and ever since I’ve always thought her nuts.
Lately the marital conversations in our house have revolved around wondering if we’re to stay in Colorado. My wife and I have both had the palpable sense that things are ending here. Sure, I could be misreading the leaves, but that’s not the sense I get (poets must trust their senses). Its not like there’s something wrong, for there’s not. Its more like this season of our lives may be finished, and a new season is kicking against the ribs. Everything that has tethered us to this place has either unraveled or is hanging on by a strand. Maybe something new is struggling to be born. Maybe that’s why this last year has felt like labor.
Kathleen found home on the Great Plains after suddenly inheriting her grandparents’ farm in South Dakota. Pam found home in Creede, Colorado after making a sudden offer on 120 acres and the woman who owned the land “liked the idea of her.” That word—home—is intensely important to me, it matters to me most. In fact, I believe it to be the most vital word in our language. And while I believe we’ve made a home here in Colorado for the last 16 years, I’m not sure we’ve found home. And here’s the deal—I want to find home. I do.