Tuesday, April 26, 2016


The time has come for me to share this news with you: Tom has taken a job in Portland. At some point this summer we will be putting our home in Harmony on the market, and when it sells, we will be moving south.

I am, as you might expect, deeply ambivalent about the change. My land is so enmeshed in my identity that I am barely able to envision myself as myself without it.  But do not worry: I am not going to wail to you about this. I know that a move south into a thriving cultural life will be, in so many ways, the best thing for us both as a pair and as individuals . . . and I try to hold on to that rationalization even as I know I cannot stop grieving. We will be closer to the ocean, closer to our families, closer to our jobs. Our life as a pair will no longer center around children and firewood. We will be able to listen to music and go to readings and look at pictures and buy decent parmesan cheese without driving hours and hours to get there. I will have a new garden to plan.

Nonetheless, I feel as if every day I spend in Harmony is an elegy: the last dandelions, the last pileated woodpecker, the last fiddleheads, the last chanterelles. Who I will become inside when I transform into a woman who spends her days in a small northern city by the cold sea? I am not yet able to imagine myself as that woman.


Ruth said...

Familiar paths lead to the future.
Exciting, scary

David (n of 49) said...

I am packing my belongings in the shawl my mother used to wear when she went to the market. And I'm going from my valley. And this time, I shall never return. I am leaving behind me my fifty years of memory. Memory. Streams that the mind will forget so much of what only this moment has passed, and yet hold clear and bright the memory of what happened years ago - of men and women long since dead. Yet who shall say what is real and what is not? Can I believe my friends all gone when their voices are still a glory in my ears? No. And I will stand to say no and no again, for they remain a living truth within my mind. There is no fence nor hedge round Time that is gone. You can go back and have what you like of it, if you can remember. So I can close my eyes on my Valley as it is today - and it is gone - and I see it as it was when I was a boy. Green it was, and possessed of the plenty of the earth. In all Wales, there was none so beautiful.

- Richard Llewellyn, How Green Was My Valley