Back in Los Angeles, near the end of April, I considered trying to add a new post and did not do so simply because of the overwhelming amount of information I’d been taking in. After a year and a half living in the woodland serenity and social wasteland of Washington, it had become difficult for both of us to acclimate to a social lifestyle and being in an urban atmosphere again.
But after this weekend I believe I’ve officially broken through my anti-social barrier. Thursday night started our weekend with old friends from LA who moved to Austin a year and change earlier than us, and far too much good times and wine. Friday we were introduced to The Shire – a legacy house with many roommates that, until this past weekend of goodbye parties for the closing and moving out, was the destination for large gatherings in this particular group of friends. Friday we met the central group, and Saturday we returned for a second dose and the farewell big party. Fond memories of the Mythical Land of Elmwood and Leadwell Manor accosted me with nostalgic fuzzies as I sat on the big wooden deck and watched the scores of gamer geeks and the few token hipsters migrate in and out of the house as a tense beer pong tournament raged inside and the ganja group mellowed on the porch enjoying a fragrant, early summer Texas night. Sunday was a big craft fair – by far the best I’ve attended – during the day, followed by games with our new core group here in Austin, which I call the Cleveland Contingent.
I love the people we’re meeting. I love the atmosphere. I love being back in Texas, surprisingly. I even grudgingly love the heat, so long as it’s followed by a substantial blast of air conditioning. Though I’m still mostly sedentary for my job, I already feel my body tightening up just from the day-to-day actions of moving and walking and generally not-being-depressed-by-inclement-weather and lack of social life.
Washington’s moss-draped fens and secret places in the depths of the forests and the rare golden lance of sunlight illuminating dark places into visions of indescribable, heart-wrenching beauty; the cleanest air and sweetest water; the always-smell of Christmas; the Dave and Mary Ann and hints of new friends we might have made; daily visits from our deer family; the sweet, lingering, limited days of summer with long badminton games into the night; the jewels of rain scattering careless rainbows across a wide, silent lawn: these are the things I miss. But not so much as I thought I would.
And damn, it’s really just good to be home.