Halfway through our ten weeks in California, I started to feel a need to be back at home. The sense of rootlessness bewildered me, especially because we felt fortunate to be spending an extended period of time in a beautiful part of the world. January was bliss. Rides to towns along the coast, walks through the mountains. And then? I was looking back through my blog posts, and I could feel a shift in my voice around the time of our next door neighbor's death in early February. I'm talking about the man who died in the paragliding accident in Pacifica. I don't mean to be simplistic--human restlessness could never be attributed to any one thing --but I think now of how our windows faced his house and yard. His house was the subject of ours. There wasn't any way out of it unless we closed the drapes, and who would have wanted to live like that? The sun, when it came out, meant everything. And then there was that morning when I walked out back to see his wetsuit and torn-up parasail hanging out on his fence. I'm sure the relatives or friends who put it there never expected anyone to see that, but I remember stopping in my tracks, making an "uh" sound, before I went back in the house to pour a glass of cold water. And went on with the day, of course.
I think some unseen thing was taking place over there now. I mean, the house missing the man. The books and plants and trees missing the man. He apparently was very funny and knew how to make people laugh at parties.