Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Last Day

Today is my last day in Colorado before heading back to Indiana tomorrow for my second year as a visiting professor at DePauw University.

It's both easier and harder departing for my Indiana life this time around.  It's easier because I know how much I loved my first year there and which sweet pleasures I can anticipate during year two: breakfasts at the Prindle Institute with Linda and Nicki, breakfasts at the Blue Door Cafe with my little notebook or current writing project, walks around the rim trail in the nature park out at the recovered quarry, dinners with Keith and Meryl, stimulating evenings with Prindle reading groups (I'll be in four this fall, plus another delightful reading group called the Janeites which begins each year with re-reading a beloved Jane Austen title - this fall it's Mansfield Park). I want to go to Brown County for the autumn foliage, and I'll have a weekend in Indianapolis with my sister, and I can go to the covered bridge festival in Park County.  I'm teaching children's literature in the English department!  I'm hosting the coolest conference ever, on ethics and children's literature.

But it's harder because I already said goodbye to my family and friends once before, promising them I'd be back in a year, and now here I am saying goodbye AGAIN for ANOTHER year. I already miss them desperately. Colorado has its own sweet pleasures that will go one without me: the golden aspen, the Open Studios weekends in October, meetings of my writing group, a special cabaret evening put on by the AnthemAires at church. Living in two places takes a cumulative toll on one's heart. I like to live wholeheartedly, rather than divided-heartedly.

Today I'm trying to cram in one last burst of Colorado summer joys. I went to the Rockies game last night in Denver with the boys. I'll swim this morning with my friend Cat and her darling little boy, Max. I'll have lunch with two dear church friends. I'll go out for dinner with my family tonight. In between, I'll do laundry, pack, run the dishwasher, clean out the fridge, do everything possible to leave my house in order and to prepare to start year two with everything I need to make it as happy as year one. I'm telling myself how lucky I am to have not one but two places that I love so dearly, two worlds that I inhabit so joyously.

Even as it's wrenching to leave one behind as I got forward to the other.

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