304: “To Arrive Where We Started” (T. S. Eliot)

“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.

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