Projected absences

I left the farm where l’ve been living at the eleventh hour last night. Dishes done from the going-away party, van finally fully loaded. Teary goodbyes with my wonderful friends (plus one gruff “Whatever – see you in two weeks when the van breaks”). First stop, an old flame. I wish I could say I loved him enough to stay if he asked me, but all the love in the world can’t warm these bones in a Maine winter. Who would you miss if you left your life behind? I think although the names are easy enough to predict, the degree to which you will miss them never is.

So, why leave? This crazy dream was born when a friend, whom I had known less than a year and who I was charmed enough to take for a roommate (later, she took to calling me her wife), told me that

1. Winter makes Jolo a miserable human being, and

2. I don’t have to live where the winters are cold if I don’t want to.

Astute, succinct. It’s so simple! The choice so simple, the repercussions so vast. I fly south for the winter, and lives will go on without me. Friends will change. We won’t dance together at our wedding, and my children won’t have his beautiful hands. Who will I miss? That’s easy. But how much? How much will I miss?

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