They were waiting on me to get here.
Soggy footsteps in dented grass.
Great lake licking shades that open by remote control.
Set up in series like dominoes.
One begets the next and sets up the collapse of all the rest.
In good time.
Dog plastic clicks and floor rattles in battles against the inevitability we call gravity.
Laid in wait.
Eyes hungry and open.
As I enter a scene.
Well orchestrated and rehearsed.
All except for the part I play. Of course.
An unwitting fool. A chicken dinner.
Which goes against the oven roasted golden brown rule.
Be nobody’s chicken dinner.
If you intend to make a meal of me, you will only get thinner.
This wind blown rain spotted weather.
The long flat roads framed in soaked farmland and fresh water harbors.
Seabirds lost in lake mist and island peppered distance.
Trip wires in thinning choirs and cold church Sunday morning.
Cows feet caked in mud and old men with blond ponytails down their backs.
For the attack.
Growing tired of waiting.
But now that I am here.
No one is waiting anymore.
Took New York by storm.
And it hasn’t quit since.
After building a humble homestead in rural North Carolina for the last ten years, I craved change. I uprooted. With my usual dash of melodrama, I decided to take off on the Appalachian Trail and I hiked to New York. A new start. I followed my heart with my own two feet and landed beside Lake Ontario beside the love of my life. We needed a challenge. North country winter and lake effect snow and generators humming throughout the night. It is a snaking kind of confused direction to try and follow. Different. Nothing more specific. Just not what has already been played out. And that is exactly what I have walked into. New. In a few months I’ll be holding a child in my arms who will make me a father. Two months of nothing but walking. In order to discover just how much further I have to go. Forever. Which is the exact prescription I never knew I needed but somehow wrote out for myself many months ago. When we started planning this hike. This high speed chapter of our lives. This oncoming child. Chasing change. Like it was one of those little letters on a compass. A spinning arrow that refuses us to settle.
Has made us hesitant to root too deep. For now. Like the little boy in her womb. We will carry home with us whenever, wherever we go. This homestead has legs. Why settle for it, when you can carry it instead. And uncover an entirely new meaning for the phrase walking home. That is what I learned over eight hundred miles that lie between here and there. How to carry it with me. Home is like love. It only exists buried in my chest somewhere. Buried in the couch. Our son buried in her belly. It is a heavy love we bear. But never too heavy to carry.