This morning I walked out of the house before dawn, wearing my fluffy bathrobe and fleece lined boots. The air was cold and crisp, the sky full of stars. It was very dark and silent. Nobody was about, just me, fetching the newspaper. The cold on my skin, the cloudless sky, brought a clarity to the moment.
I’m here. Alive. Awake to the moment. I let it sink in, the holy feeling of waking up to see one more sunrise. Thank you, I thought. Then I went inside to make a cup of tea, light the fire, and write in my journal.
From my writing room, I often catch dawn breaking. I wonder today if there will be a place in my new home where I can see the moon rise, the sun set. If there is not, I hope at least I will be able to greet the dawn. Rosy fingered dawn, some ancient writer called it. I want to see it from my new home, where I hope to start a new writing project.
In less than a month, I will have finished the current manuscript I’ve been working on. I’ll set it aside and come back to it fresh when I return this spring from my big adventure: In less than a month, I will have relocated for the winter from my home in Michigan to a new home in Florida. It has been a long time coming.
Four generations of my family have settled in Florida. My great-grandmother moved her family south from Georgia. My grandmother went south again after moving to Detroit when she married. Then my father left Michigan too, following his matriarchal line to Florida. And now I’m going too. I’m moving to the same town on the Gulf of Mexico where my dad lives. And like my dad, I’ll be splitting my time between two states.
Because, like my dad, I am married to someone whose roots are in Michigan. Al will come with me to Florida in January, to help me set up my new home, our new home, but then he’ll return to Michigan for work in the winter cold and snow, while I stay in the sunshine state, settling in.
Al and I have been married 31 years. We’ve never been apart for more than a week. But winter was hard on me last year, hard on my bones and my psyche. I promised myself I would not suffer through it again. And although it is not yet winter on the calendar, this morning I felt the first stirrings of the bitter cold to come. For the first time, knowing winter was on its way did not sink me into despair.