Day Seven was one of those long days, with moments of consciousness, and moments of sadness and happiness. Happiness in that I know my move to California has been good for me, sadness in my friends and my little house that I left behind.
Shooting Stars, along the bridge in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, December 2013,
photo by Larry Eder
For me, traveling to new places is a huge part of my journey. I first asked my Mother to travel at twelve, when I wanted to go to a kibbutz in Israel. Mother, being the realistic sort, told me that I was too young to travel by myself, and honestly, she wanted me around until I was 18.
At fourteen, I had a chance to go to the Soviet Union and work on a collective farm for a month. I begged and begged, and no use. Mom was not letting her fourteen year old love child, ( I am the oldest and referred to, at least on Facebook as the love child by my father), oldest of five, to go to a godless, Communist state, lead by Mr. Breshniev. Again, the wait until you are eighteen.
At nineteen, I left and went into the Jesuit Novitiate, but that did not last. It was not until 2013, Forty-one years after I had initially asked, that I made it to Russia. My mother sent me a text that she was happy that I finally made it to Russia.
On Sunday night, I wrote and packed until I left at five in the morning. I had flights from Copenhagen to Zurich, Zurich to Newark, Newark to Milwaukee and an hour drive back to Fort Atkinson.
Flights were sleep filled and episodes of Two and a Half Men, The Newsroom and perhaps one movie, but I can remember which one. Two and a Half Men is a train wreck, and sometimes, Charlie Sheen just does something for me.
My return to Fort Atkinson, where my little farm house sits, all alone, was duty. I needed to make sure that the pipes were not broken, a new lock worked on the front of the house and mice had not set up Central Command in the house.
My driver, Miles, picked me up in Milwaukee, reveled me with stories of our little town, and I headed back to the house, thinking that I would find a mouse version of Gullivers’ Travels. Au contraire. The house was full of boxes, but no mice, so I headed out for my four mile walk down the river.
It was sixty-five degrees, a brief respite from the cold, and I reveled in it. Walking along the river, I spoke to some teenagers who had just caught a seven pound channel cat. I loved the river, and miss it very much.
My walk reminded me of the simple pleasures I enjoyed in Fort. Watching a family put up huge bird houses, a real rite of spring, and noticing how high the water is, kept my walk spirited, as I headed back for a quick shower and some time with a good friend.