Me voy.

In twenty-four hours, I’ll be somewhere over the Atlantic, bound for Madrid and an international faculty development seminar focused on the Camino de Santiago. It is officially summer, insofar as everything is graded and the meetings are generally in abeyance, but still, I go in a time of flux (as if there is any other kind).

I will miss important things in my twelve days away: the essential completion of the house into which I am hoping to move and, more pressingly, my grandfather-in-law’s funeral. He passed yesterday under circumstances as good as can be hoped for. These are, as they say, small mercies.

I will miss unimportant things (though, of course, they are important to me). The local farmers’ markets will continue apace, and strawberry season will likely be ceding to blueberry days by the time I get back. I will miss the end of the Stanley Cup playoffs (though I will travel with a fair bit of black and gold) and baseball games and I will miss my cats and my spouse.

I already miss the manuscript that is resting in other hands for a while, and what I am hoping is that the change of scenery (and a packed schedule) will let me let it rest more quietly in my mind. I am hoping to write some new things, some short things, which I haven’t done in ages. I don’t know whether I’ll manage that. But on a trip dedicated to the Camino, hope seems appropriate.

I am so ready for this trip. I’ve wanted to go to Spain since I was a kid. I have been kicking myself since 2003 that I didn’t do a semester abroad there, and these few days aren’t a semester, but it’s a start. We’ll only be walking on the Camino for a few days, but it’s a start.

Everything–the beginning, the finishing, that we ate a whole box of strawberries today, that we talked about the trees that ring our new yard, that I am almost done packing and the notebook I’m bringing if empty–is a start.

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