I sometimes want to be where I am not.
Lately, I find myself dreaming of North Carolina. Of the morning glories that grow wild in the fall, climbing the cornstalks and fields beside the Hinnant Winery. Of the wisteria that hangs low and fragrant in the springtime. I dream of standing on the banks of the Neuse River, watching a local boy fish, a sprig of grass between his teeth.
I wish for places I can no longer visit. A bungalow on Hicks Street in Portland, Maine, where I drew on the cellar walls with crayon - probably at least one Garfield sketch -- and where my cousins and sister and I invented games and stories, where we were kings and queens of promise, as the song goes. I miss the house I grew up in, the ranch on Quarry Road, where my sister and I learned to ride bikes ( she did it first), and how to parallel park between two sawhorses in the driveway, and where we dreamed of who we would be.
There are days when I feel overwhelmed by geography and the distance between where I am and the places I wish I could be. A bar in Syracuse, New York. A beach in St Lucia. A marina in Clearwater, Florida. A museum in New York.
And yet. If I found myself there, I know that I would long for the places I love now. The pub. The river. Portsmouth and Pirate's Cove. If I was there, I would not be here. I had to lose those places to find this one, and this one is beloved, beautiful, and sweet.