Wind Shifts As the Seasons Change

All through autumn we hear a double  voice: one says everything is ripe; the other says everything is dying. The paradox is exquisite.
-Gretel Erlich, The Solace of Open Spaces

IMG_5918Another quote from the journal she kept during house construction, and so it is this autumn. I spent the first day of the season with the family and friends who had kept me together through this tough first year. The season opened on a busy Sunday visiting my Dad, a dance stand at Art in the Orchard with Wake Robin, a twentieth anniversary party for friends, and then choir rehearsal. It was a beautiful, clear day to start the fall season, with the air cool but comfortable. 

This year the paradox is beyond exquisite. Summer ended with a week that belied my assertion in Harvest Moon that there would be no harvest this year. There was indeed no harvest of things planted this year, but instead a harvest of timber nurtured over years. The house sold after only two days of showings, which at some level I expected. What was less expected was the deal to acquire the technology we had been developing over the last few years and bring our entire team along to develop it for the new company. In a week the conditions of my life completely shifted.

That Wednesday as I reviewed the offers on the house, I was thinking about starting to look for a little house for a little while, someplace nearby to rent where I could stay close to the friends who have supported me through all this, and continue sorting out my life. Two days later I found out that instead of working from home I would have a new job, which meant moving to one of the tech corridors east of here. The next week was full of contract negotiations, press releases, and seriously mixed feelings.

A few days after I gave my Dad the news he asked me if I had come down out of the clouds yet. There was so much relief that the rolling financial crisis was finally ending all at once it was pretty crazy. I had been struggling with whether selling the house now was the right move, and the business news cemented that it was exactly what I needed to do exactly when I needed to do it. It was heady stuff. Eventually though, I did come crashing down back to reality.

She should have been here for this. She suffered as much as anybody as we struggled to get the new company off the ground. She lived through two years of our three year long funding drought. We barely managed to get the house out of foreclosure three weeks before she was hospitalized. When we watched the Avengers movie earlier last summer, she assigned characters from the movie to each of us in the venture. She decided she was my Pepper Potts. We made jokes about “suiting up” once the funding finally came in. She earned this.

But she never saw it. Instead of returning home to her, this weekend I will be suited up in fall kit with my Morris side, wearing those bell pads I made May Eve for this season of grief that is coming to a close. I will consider that exquisite paradox as we tour our lovely autumn hills for the Harvest Ale, on what may be my last tour for quite a while with these excellent Men.

I wrote and thought about “getting home” a lot this summer, but now like Dorothy, I realize I was already there, but just didn’t recognize the place. Home is where they take you in when you are broken and nurse you back to health, no questions asked, nothing expected in return.

Home isn’t where this journey ends. It is where it starts. Eleven months on, thanks to an incredible bunch of people who took me into their lives when mine was ruined, I think I am finally ready to get on the road.

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