Today is my last Tuesday in California. At this time next week I expect to be somewhere near Vegas on my way to a new life. If I wasn't so busy self medicating with boxes and phone calls, I would be able to feel my heart breaking.
I want to breathe everything in. To remember it all exactly as it is. To savor being Californian. I'm desperately trying to scorch images of sea and sun and remembrance and life onto that place just behind the eyes, the hamlet where nostalgia dwells and my soul only aches a little. I am telling myself that this too shall pass. But in that comfortable adage I discover a new fear. Perhaps, one day, I will have forgotten that this is home. It isn't the house, though I am having a terrible time tearing myself away from my son's first room. It isn't even the things I know and the routine of it all. It is the way that I am inexplicably alive in this space.
Utah is fine. It's a beautiful place to visit. I might have even been able to pull up a chair and stay for awhile, by a fire, with the snow-covered Wasatch Mountains peering through the window. Perhaps I will find solace in the slower pace, peace in the biting cold, and warmth in the welcome. But I will not ever find California. For what has always been under the sole of my shoe now eludes me. My definition of home will evaporate with the breath that I am holding. And I can only wait so long to exhale.