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Torn Between Two Places

God it’s so painful when something that’s so close
Is still so far out of reach
— Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, American Girl

September conjures up images of red and gold leaves in crisp air. I thought of their possibility while sneaking another swim in water that believes it’s still summer. But what we linger on isn’t always where we are, is it? I reminded myself to savor the water while I was still in it.

We’re often torn between where we are and where we want to be. Between things we’re comfortable doing and things we’d like to try. It’s a fiendish place; nurtured dissatisfaction with one, with a lingering frustration that the other is just out of reach. We reason with the mind to accept one place, while the other place sings its siren song. No matter, were we to reverse our position, we’d likely yearn for the place we just came from. Such is human nature.

The space between seems to be the real issue. We can’t have it all, but we dwell on images of places we’d love to be, or parts of our lives we’d love to return to, or maybe run away from. Surely, it’s there in that between where the devil resides. It’s our no man’s land where dreams go to die if we dare wander into it. And don’t we all stumble into discontent at times in our lives?

All season I’ve been dealing with a garden neglected at the start of the growing season while I bounced around in Europe in June. It never really established itself, then came the drought, and here we are at the end of the season with a sad little garden that’s a shadow of its former self. The garden and I gave it a go, despite it all, and now it will go dormant for the winter before we try again next year. But I wonder, will I be inclined to try again, or leave it for the beauty of another place once again?

Such are the considerations of an itinerate wanderer with a strong sense of place. Making a go of it here, while thinking about there. With American Girl playing in my head as a soundtrack of this life between two places.

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