Angle to Key West: Roots (1/4)

Above the grass

Tallahassee, FL – January 4th, 2013

Home soil is dangerous. Familiar faces, friends I haven’t seen in months, hugs and warm welcomes, text messages and calls, routines like well-worn ruts in a road, easy to follow, hard to leave, comfortable. I could stay forever if I wanted to. Part of me does.

In International Falls, Grand Marais, and Two Harbors, in Duluth, Minneapolis, and Tipton, in St. Louis, Memphis, and New Orleans, I felt myself rattle down into the mud, sink a bit, and stick. It happens every time I stop because there’s a rhythm to movement, a pattern, an order of actions that flow into each other day after day, one into the next. It turns smooth. It builds, becomes second-nature, becomes what I do, until I don’t.

Rolling tumbleweed doesn’t need much wind. It only needs a gust when it’s hung up on a string of barbed wire or caught on the spines of a cactus. One nice shove and it’s off again, but that’s only on top of unfamiliar dirt. Home soil is different. It’s rich and thick. It sticks. Sit for too long in home soil and you’ll find roots growing underneath you, slipping down, grabbing hold. Sit for too long and you might not get up again.

8 thoughts on “Angle to Key West: Roots (1/4)

  1. Greetings from International Falls,MN where the temperature is down to 24 below zero today,January 20, and with the wind chill added in it is about 50 below. Going to be a cold week here in Northern Minnesota. Coongratulations upon achieving your goal, of Flordia.

  2. Don’t worry, Tumbleweed. We’ll get you back on the water. Remember..”We thought he’d NEVER LEAVE!”

  3. Encouragement to continue from Suwannee (where the land, water and sky meet and the Suwannee River meanders into the Gulf. Awaiting your arrival and have accommodations.

  4. As Dorrie in Nemo would say: Keep on paddling, Keep on paddling… Can’t wait for your book, can’t write it in Tallahassee, can’t read it til you are able to write: “The End.” Keep on paddling – you are my hero from a person on the treadmill of life – I need you to go, it gives me hope that one day,
    I will too.

  5. Really loved your presentation in Tallahassee today. My family homesteaded in Duluth in the 1850’s. Your pictures of the northwoods and Lake Superior were familiar and beautiful. You are right; there are always reasons not to do what you dream of doing. I needed that today.

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