Our bags are packed. More or less. And tonight we will be taking off into the night sky to start a new day back home in NY. I have no regrets — our time here on the west coast has been good.
As I was organizing some of my things yesterday, I pulled three books and four issues of The New Yorker from my backpack. I’ve read almost nothing in the last few weeks, written almost nothing, as well. I packed my books in a suitcase and will most likely walk away from the magazines. I plan on sleeping my way cross-country, and if I can’t sleep, I’ll listen to The Moth or Dear Sugar podcasts on my phone. I’m too distracted to read or write, too preoccupied with the days and weeks to come.
This is the first summer in almost ten years of California summers that we don’t have boxes to ship home. No souvenirs to speak of, just plenty of downtime with family and friends. It feels good to be going home without the extra baggage; less weight, less stuff to find a place for on the other end.
I’m not sure what to do with this blog. My cancer story is winding down, there’s not a lot left to tell. I guess I don’t need to decide right now. At breakfast the other day someone asked when I was going to write a book. The question always gives me pause. I wrote a book — an as yet unpublished novel — but I wonder if I’m not more suited to essays and maybe eventually a memoir of sorts. I used to be so sure of what I needed to write. I could sit down at my computer every morning and just go, barely able to keep up with where the story was taking me. But somewhere along the way, I lost it; I still haven’t found a way to get it back.
My son walked down to the French bakery for croissants this morning, a final farewell to one of his favorite rituals here. I think the day will be filled with “one last” of nearly everything. Is it possible to miss it already but still be glad to be going home?
There is always something left undone, some adventure we never found our way around to having, or someone we never got to see or spend time with. But there will be another summer — always.
And that alone is something to be grateful for.