I was fairly stationary as a child. I lived in the same house until college. Then I lived in the same area for another ten years. I was never more than 40 minutes away from anyone, friend, family, or foe. Not that I had any foes, but I did have a love for alliteration.
I met my wife, and on a whim we hit the road. Once the moving started we couldn’t stop—kind of like dancing, except with less alcohol. My wife and I dropped pins all over the left side of the map. We were up, down, and then up again. We had U-Haul on speed dial. Our last stop found us just outside of Seattle.
There are things here that we love. There are friendly people, incredible neighbors, wonderful summers, scenic beauty in every direction, fantastic schools, and a sense of community that I haven’t known since my childhood. We live in a quaint town where roots are deep and well-watered. It is a perfect setting in which to raise a family.
But there are things that are dark and press against us, and the silver lining has become harder and harder to find within them. The clouds stretch from the sea to the summer, and their constant soaking leaves a layer of cold tucked tight between skin and bone. There will never be enough logs upon the fire.
Seasonal affective disorder comes and goes, literally with the seasons, but with each ebb it grows slower, and every flow seems more fond of shadows than sunlight. Sadness grows like mold in the corners of our happy household.
The children do not go through bouts of depression, but rather sit beside them and grow restless and frustrated. They do not want to go outside into the cold and the rain, but they would enjoy it if we took them there. The trips are few and far between. The children suffer secondhand, which is full of shame and lacking in justice.
We have tried to compensate with manufactured light, an overextended calendar, and daily supplements, but all it has done is make us face the truth. It is time to pay heed to Harry Nilsson and go where the weather suits our clothes. It is time for sailing on a summer breeze.
Come June, when we are done with school and leases, we will follow our footsteps back to the sands of California. There is where opportunity awaits, and with it a warmth to bask in. Our running is equal parts to and from.
The leaving is bittersweet, and it packs a heavy heart, but the journey should find us nearly healed and the arrival somewhat lighter.
The ocean stretches from July to forever. We are the stones that skip across it.