Settling In – Part II
May 18, 2015
I guess I’ve been in the West too long. I’d forgotten how green the air is here in North Carolina at this time of year. Green and wet… not mossy and clammy like the Pacific Northwest, but verdant and dripping with warm water… like breathing through a blade of grass in a terrarium.
It’s not hot enough yet to be oppressive. That comes in another month or so. For now, it’s warm enough to break a sweat simply by walking out the door, but it still feels vital. I may have grown a half-inch since I arrived… although, truthfully, any real growth has probably been more horizontal than vertical. Barbecue (real barbecue, made of pork and wood smoke and deliciousness) and Brunswick stew and lounging in the air-conditioning have a way of contesting the management of the middle-aged waistline. Banana pudding is a bonus.
I suppose I’d also forgotten, a little bit, the comfortable pleasure of spending a warm afternoon with family. We gathered at my brother’s place in Wilmington to celebrate a belated Mothers’ Day on Saturday. There was great food, drinks, grandchildren (and great grandchildren), and it was really a pretty good day. When I loaded Iggy the Party Dawg into the truck for the trip back to Durham, it was with the happy realization that these weekend events were no longer half a continent away.
I’m daydreaming about boats now. It would probably be impractical and unwise at this particular moment to buy a boat, so I’m shopping for something in the 20 to 23 foot range. I felt the salt in the air over the weekend, and it reminded me that the spanish and king mackerel will be coming into the near-shore water any time now. In another month, the dolphin (dorado) and maybe even a sailfish or two will be inside of 20 miles, and I barely have to close my eyes to imagine the breeze in my face as I drag a couple of ballyhoo along a line of sargassum. I shouldn’t, but I probably will.
Kat’s away in California right now with meetings, but when she comes back this weekend, the search for property begins in earnest. I detoured off of the freeway on the way back from Wilmington yesterday, and had a chance to take in some of the countryside. It’s certainly not Texas Hill Country, but it’s pretty… especially right now, in the full bloom of late spring. There’s a lot of potential here, tangled in the cat claws, scrub oaks, and pine thickets. I can work with this.
I felt something else in the air over the weekend. It was wispy and passing, at first. I didn’t recognize it because I think I’ve avoided it for so long. It’s something I never felt in California. I thought I had it in Texas, but it wasn’t this strong. Once I let it in this weekend, though, blowing up the Cape Fear river on that wet, green breeze, there was no denying it.
I felt Home.