Traveling to new vistas moves heart toward home
Posted: Friday, March 16, 2012 8:00 pm
By: By GLENDA CAUDLE
I confess, these are the times I long to roam.
As I dress for each day’s tasks, I think what I would be putting on instead were I planning to board a plane and fly into the rising sun.
When I lock the front door behind me, I imagine myself turning and grasping the handle of a suitcase and bumping it along off the porch, skimming it across the sidewalk and lifting it into the trunk, where it will ride in dark comfort until I take it out to introduce it to new vistas.
Having pointed my car away from home, I envision myself simply driving on and on and on in a relatively straight line until I roll into an adventure somewhere far away; this, rather than turning and turning and turning again and finally finding a familiar spot between two tired yellow-orange lines that will corral my vehicle for the day.
I need to be on the move to something different, you see.
Everything in me yearns to spend contemplative hours perched atop a giant slab of moss-marked cold-hearted stone, absorbing the sun as it burns through timeless mists that bathe the ancient green peaks and valleys of the Appalachians.
I would sell a great many things I own were I able to board a plane this very afternoon and find myself walking the streets of London in a tomorrow not yet dawned here — lost in history where kings might have stepped and commoners might have wept, in fear or awe at their passing, in years gone by.
Could I but nestle in the fire-framed shadows of a small village pub perched precariously on emerald Ireland’s Ring of Kerry and listen to the lilting locally-inspired stories being traded around me, what would I not be willing to trade in return?
Were it my privilege to kneel in the softly blooming heather transforming the wintery grayish-brown slopes of Scottish hills into a new season carpet of color, I would be grateful beyond words.
Bump leisurely along an impossibly narrow man-made water way in a Welsh canal boat, absorb the odor of fat-to-bursting sun-sweetened grapes being plucked from the vines on a sloping hillside in Italy, pull apart a fragrant new-browned loaf from a village bakery in France and savor the contrast of soft inner recesses protected by a crackling crust, float down a river in the heart of Germany and count the arrogantly bored castles observing my progress, fall asleep with the stringed sweep of an Austrian waltz or the rhythmic click of Spanish castanets providing accents for my dreams — all these possibilities call irresistibly to me.
I would gorge on the simplest pleasures and grow drunk on the most mundane of daily activities, did I but have the opportunity to indulge in days played out in other places, in nights reveled in other climes.
But, instead, I will slip into my “regular” life again today. I will smile into the same faces, complete or avoid the same tasks, step toward the next hour on the same pathway, narrow my nostrils at the same odors, flinch away from or bend toward the same sounds, absorb the same flavors — the familiar ones that mark virtually every sun’s progress through the sky.
I dream of other-ness.
But in a strange way, those dreams nurture my deep contentment with a life whose ordinary similarities are part of the grandest illusion conceivable.
For underneath the familiar, this place I wake up to every day is filled with fascinating possibilities.
And each of you is the reason why.
For you provide my daily adventure — even when I’m firmly grounded right here.
Glenda Caudle may be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 3.16.12