Spring has come to the mountain. When I walk in the morning at 5:00, a hooded sweatshirt is sufficient to keep me warm—without ear muffs, gloves and other encumbering garments. At that hour, I walk through invisible spider webs slung across the road, and I listen to the birdsong of tanagers and canyon wrens as the sun makes its way toward cresting the ridge. There is enough light now when I get home from work to sit on the front porch with a cup of tea and read while the cats investigate the places they’ve watched robins scratching all day.
I’m gonna miss this place.
With great sadness and some sense of adventure, I have recently come to the decision to leave this mountain and return to the flatland below. Last Monday, I listed my cabin for sale. The day before, I had dinner with my daughter and ‘other son.’ Just hearing shali’s reaction to my news—“Thank god, Mom, I’m so relieved”—was all the confirmation I needed. (And I have clung to her words over this past week, as well-intentioned friends have made comments such as, “Good luck selling in this market!” and “You’re gonna take a beating on the sale” and, my personal favorite, “Have you thought this through?”
That last one, of course, makes me laugh. If anything, I’ve been accused many times in my life of thinking too much… and I have to admit, I am guilty of that.
Over the past several weeks, certain events have occurred that started me thinking… and thinking… and thinking. This place… this place is magical, and I love where I live. No, I didn’t ‘just get tired of the snow,’ as some have suggested; I love the quiet and beauty of the snow, despite its inconvenience. But logistically, in order to make all my dreams come true—or at least the important ones—I need to be down the mountain.
And so—as hard as it will be to say good-by to my jays and my ‘coonies and my squirrels and my ‘yotes and the neighbors who have become beloved friends and the peace and quiet which has enabled me to write more in the past two years than I have in the five before I moved here—I look forward to what the future will bring. I look forward to sitting at my granddaughter’s softball games and attending more awards ceremonies for all my grandkids and to more brunches with my son and his man and more road trips to promote my current book… and the one to follow. I will miss lying on the couch in front of the fire, waiting for a full moon to pass over so the light will flood the cabin through the skylights. But I won’t miss the mountain. Because I’ll be right back up here every weekend, just as I was before I lived here, hiking the trails and visiting good friends… and checking in on my raccoons.