I so enjoyed spending the better part of a month in Rhode Island both for the company and the landscape. For the friends who welcome unconditionally and beaches that are sort of secret and that don’t require residency, a fee, membership or leashes.
I didn’t want to leave RI for the above reasons plus their farm/pond to table food, their “Rogue’s Island” be-who-you-are mentality, and their sweet, salty water, but commitments in Connecticut and New York had been on deck for awhile and the time had come.
A couple of weeks of dealing with car problems (residuals from the elk I hit in January in Colorado, bodywork thanks to a drunk driver’s sideswipe in Florida, rotors that warped after a month, and a whistling windshield) and then my car wasn’t ready until 4:00 on a Friday. In the summer. I prepared for the worst, but made it to my friend Robin’s in record time.
It’s one of life’s great treats when someone who used to be “just” your friend’s kid sister becomes *your* friend twenty years later as a five-year age gap slams shut.
Robin greeted me with snacks and had already set out water for lucky who found the softest spot in the house and, per usual, made himself at home within minutes.
Then we talked for five hours nonstop, only stopping for sips of rosé and bites of eggplant parm pizza.
The next day was a walk and (homemade) lunch with Kate, Robin’s stepmother and one of my mother’s BFFs. She’s as lose to an aunt as it gets, and I’m grateful for her.
Then off to a party that ROCKED and that felt like one part magic, one part reunion and a sprinkling of sparkles, glitter and love. It’s all fun and games until a glow stick explodes in an eye, but it’s nothing a girl like Caraline can’t dance off. The entire party doing “Proud Mary” will make me smile, probably, forever. Ever have cannoli cake? If not, put it on your list ASAP.
I had plans for today, but not a solid timeframe, so that looseness lead to a slight alteration to my plans which lead to some (fair enough) assumptions that lead to a snafu which led to a small miracle: time to myself in my hometown.
I drove through my old neighborhood and then looped around the whole town. The trees are bigger and leafier, the distances shorter and the roads hillier than I recall. There is a bright green here that you only see out west for a hot second in the spring.
The last time I was alone driving around this town was probably fifteen years ago, but the last time I lived here year-round was in 1989. That’s many, many long times. I’ve been away much longer than I was here.
The more I know the more I know I don’t know, but this I’m sure of: perspective changes outside the presence of another set of eyes.
So I had a surprise opportunity to take Luck for another romp in the Pequonnock River Valley and wouldn’t dream of passing it up.
Today we ran, and I connected my legs to the place where my love affair with running began twenty-five years ago.
Revisiting the place and people that made you is an incredible gift, but it erupts all the emotions both good and bad. It can feel a little like being hugged and pinched.
Running in The Valley is awesome, even midday in August. It’s a refuge in the middle of busy Fairfield County with a trail covered by a protective tree canopy and a deep history you can feel.
The hands on the clock have now completed a full circle and I’ve had a very full day in my hometown. It’s been awesome but I’m pretty ready to go.
And this is exactly why I love traveling. I love being flexible, open to surprises, and traveling both in space and in time. I love knowing when it’s time to go.
NOTE: please excuse errors. I wrote this (literally) on a jog with my best buddy. Not sure why all the photos are at the end…..