Goodbye, Stranger, It’s Been Nice

santa monica mountains

There are things I will miss, like the merry-go-round and rolling hills—the backyard stretching forever beyond the circle softly spinning, over the mountain and down again, property lines be damned like prose intertwined with too much poetry. I could sit on the deck and watch the boys run through the dale and back into view, but now only smaller, leaving laughter like breadcrumbs and the sun streaking right behind them. They have known this place, and they know that it is time to leave.

They will miss the canyons they kept their echoes in.

And so it is that pages turn and curl slightly in the corners—some are painted with illustration and some are stale and pressed for flowers. These are the chapters of our story, an adventure for the choosing and a plot line still unfolding. Some characters are never introduced.

The move is barely miles, a few minutes further from the beach, and that much closer to the school, stores, and a bar I can walk to. These are the best and worst of progress. I crave such comforts and hate them for it.

But sometimes the wild is called that for a reason, and when it snaps it means goodbye—or stand your ground, be firm, and quickly eaten. Ours has snapped in many places, and we are heeding threat and warning. We are going someplace tamer and surely better for it.

Every turn upon the merry-go-round is slid into a slot of memory, pushing out the one before, and bracing firmly for the last. Soon it will stop its spinning, and the hills will grow still with stone and sudden silence.

We prefer our futures bright, and we like them there, just above the horizon.

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