Longing for New Albion

Today is the kind of rainy day that makes me remember the home of my soul is the Northwest. It’s gotten less intense in the 8 years I’ve lived in New England, but it used to be going too long without rain created sort of an itch, a discomfort. Now I don’t notice the lack as much, but when a true rain comes, I still feel the relief of the world as it should be.

I’ve started to wonder, really, if we’ll ever return to the place I call home. I haven’t been to the Northwest since a very quick training trip early last spring. I haven’t spent considerable time there since the August before last, when we went hiking and missed the big New England blackout.

I still walk the woods of the Northwest in my mind. I see the bracken fern tall in the bright light against blue skies. In the dark secret parts of the forest, I see the trillian, the vanilla leaf, the sorrel, the salal. In my mind’s eye, I see Northwest horizons — tall mountains that still hold the wildness of a world without us.

But it’s all fading. The lines are not as sharp.

Truly, I envy those of you who live there. I wonder if you see it with the same eyes I do — if you feel the pull of the hills upward and onward. You speak of living there so casually, and I yearn for it. But yet every month I pass here, I put down another root. It would be painful, very painful, to pull up here and leave.

Will it ever happen?

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