My child and I hold hands on the way to school,
And when I leave him at the first-grade door
He cries a little but is brave; he does
-- "September, The First Day Of School" by Howard Nemerov
Walking down the street, I remember so clearly being drawn to this place, to feeling like belonging.
I remember the great sense of peace that fell over me walking to and from St. Patrick's last autumn. Stopping on Park Avenue, facing down St. Bart's and Grand Central Terminal, and the entire stretch of Midtown, thinking: I belong.
I belong here, right now. Although there is chaos and noise, and all abundance of daily disasters, I belong here, and I have found peace, right here.
I remember knowing, without any sort of reason, that I belonged here.
With an assurance deeper than faith, and a knowledge surer than reason, I was certain that I was supposed to be here, and that, just beyond the horizon, there would be trials and tribulations to cause me to question that peace. But that peace was there, despite of what would happen after that. Unshakable, real, and comforting that peace can be found even in places you're not "supposed" to be.
Now, what causes me to walk with quicker steps--no longer to and from St. Patrick, but St. Vincents--what hastens me with hope, is the feeling of belonging here. But not quite.
The peace of this autumn comes with a condition of restlessness, a prerequisite of wanderlust, and hints, like the crisp autumn breeze, of moving onto somewhere new.
Inside, instead of peace tucking me in, folding me up, and burying my root in soil, peace is rustling the sheets, and pulling up the roots. Something large, something expansive is stretching, growing, bursting out inside of me. Something so familiar and so sweet: a bit of the ol' peripatetic what-for, you know. An aching bout of wanderlust and curiosity and adventure is creeping into view.