It’s never good to begin the day with paying bills and considering how much money is not enough money. And since it’s mid-June and only fifty-nine degrees and wet, I switch on my SAD light while pondering which raingear to wear over which running shirt. The dog is agitating to get going. And the children from the school on the boulevard are still heading off on their fieldtrip wearing their North Face, hoods up. I watch them pass with a smile. The garden is green and glorious. But the weeds are happier still. Relentless. I add some Miracle Gro to my watering can and pour it into the pots in the outdoor room knowing what they need more is sunshine. And so do I.
As part of my procrastination process before sitting down to write, I read a Billy Collins poem that makes me smile and then a piece from the Granta magazine given to me as a gift. It’s the travel issue and I’m saddened somehow by the first essay I choose to read. (It could be the weather. I should have saved Billy Collins for last.) On the Road, by Janine Giovanni, takes me from the airport in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to Paris with a mention of recent trips to Stockholm, Oslo, Athens, Istanbul, Brussels, London, Dublin, and New York all within two months time and lists a future itinerary of Berlin, Frankfurt, Los Angeles, New York, Spain, Damascus, Alleppo, Geneve, Gaziantep, Instanbul, Australia, India and Davos. The idea of this much solo travel makes my head spin. It’s an essay about being homesick, really, even at home. I understand this concept even though my travel has never been terribly strenuous.
I’ve travelled around this country, to Europe several times and even to Southern Africa. But those trips had lots of time in between. Years, usually. And I rarely travel solo. I’m at home now and feeling a little homesick too. It’s probably because I just returned from a trip to the Midwest. Not even the Midwest city I grew up in, but close enough. It felt so familiar, flat, surrounded by deciduous trees, lakes and farm fields. And it was hot and sunny, the way summer is supposed to be. And here I am back in Seattle in the cool summer rain.
It’s definitely the weather.