A month ago, I took a long drive to see the trees of Middle Fall, and as I traveled, I paid attention to the way I missed home and summer, and I thought about what caused the discomfort at leaving both behind.
Since my wife died five years ago, I have tried to understand how to come to terms with home. I have become overly attached to the place where I live and to my story contained in its rooms and gardens. It is hard for me to go away.
On the other hand, once I am on the road and look closely at the different landscape, I like the freedom and take comfort in what I find. I do not become detached so much as I befriend the new space and time.
Spring and summer have always been my favorite seasons, and I miss them now. But when I am too sad to see the leaves come down or too fearful of abandoning the safety of my yard, the grip is too strong.
Homesickness comes from holding on and from being held too much. Befriending is an open acceptance of what appears on the other side of home. Each pole is a mentor. Each year, I learn from autumn and the road not to hold summer and my home too close and to make friends with the cold and absence.
This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I'll be back again next week with notes for the final week of Late Fall. In the meantime, if you let the summer go, then it will come back again.
Poor Will’s Almanack for 2018 is now available. Order yours from Amazon, or, for an autographed copy, order from www.poorwillsalmanack.com. And you can purchase my book, Home is the Prime Meridian: Essays on Time and Place and Spirit, from the same sites. The essay collection contains many of the selections heard on this radio segment.