I am set on making friends with the south, a daunting task to bend my stubborn soul and to see beauty where I refuse to look. The trail, as always, is where I do my work, where I untangle the threads of disappointment, anger, trauma, and loss…The trail, as always, is where I weave a new story of hope, strength and courage.
The trail, here, in summer, is hostile and fierce, with its burning sun and air that tears open my lungs, with its biting insects and afternoon rain; it is an unlikely solace. This is my story, my truth, the yarn I use to convince myself to wait, a little longer. The real truth, the truth I am not yet ready to know- it is my anger burning, my mind searing and my heart biting. I am still bathing in my disappointment and grief, not ready or willing to leave it with the trail. I want to soak in it a little longer, use it to fuel scraping the deck and hacking weeds- I need the power of my anger to conquer the years of neglect my new home has suffered.
I tell myself the fall will be a good time to begin a new journey, a journey to shed this cloak of wrath. I promise myself cooler air, distant sun, glowing trees of orange and yellow, biting things to bed for the season, this will be the right time to ease my soul. Fall is the right time to put this wrath to sleep for the winter.
So, this is the day, I decide, out on my deck, oversized cup of coffee twice heated, cooling while I take in the fall of the south. This is the day, the last week of November, crisp air, sun warm on my back, lawnmower in the distance. This is the day, shuffling leaves, driven by a gentle breeze carrying hints of wood smoke and earth. This is the day, chattering squirrels, frantic in their final prospect to store acorns. This is the day, glorious trees, oh the trees, the magnificent trees, oranges, yellows, reds, radiant in the sun, glowing against the cobalt backdrop. This is the day I will begin my journey.
I know today, for the first time, that I will find peace in this land, in the stillness of this place where I can slow, write, walk, and settle, even in late November. I am suddenly grateful to be here, today, despite my struggle, despite the difficulties I have found in this land. Today I am grateful that my new-found solitude has, in return, offered me a chance to settle and find peace.