“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”
-T. S. Eliot, from “Little Gidding”
I’m back near where I grew up. It’s lovely. Today I was back in Annadel State Park, back in the rolling golden hills, back beneath moss covered oaks. Watching a woodpecker. Yesterday I was back with a dear friend, back sitting on the floor together, reading poetry together from a book we found together years and years ago. On Sunday I was back at the coast, back watching the horizon hatch into sea and sky. Back with family. Back on roads I remember, the ones that lead up to the hills, to a creek and plum trees and back home.
I used to focus on the last bit of that passage from T. S. Eliot. And know the place for the first time. Now I find myself focusing on the line before that—to arrive where we started. To come back. It feels so sweet to come back. I’m not sure if I know all this any more, but there’s a softness, a joy, to arriving at the hills I’ve walked so many times, to sitting next to someone I’ve loved for so long, to feeling a bit of wind, new-old, blowing.