Gone

Snow! It doesn’t take much to impress a middle Tennessean, even a transplanted midwesterner who always makes fun of the natives who freak out  and line up for grocery staples, cancel school and skip appointments and scotch travel plans etc. The light dusting we woke to this morning has turned drab late winter pretty, briefly, transforming roofs and limbs and moods. It’ll probably be gone by noon.

What kinda “gone” we talkin’ about? asks one of the songs Younger Daughter’s been inflicting, on the first leg of our daily commute. It’s a good question. Gone from the ground isn’t gone from memory and anticipation. Let it melt, we can begin looking forward to its next rare appearance all the sooner.

I’ve still been studying Lincoln, in anticipation of the American Philosophy conference soon to come. “Now he belongs to the ages,” famously proclaimed his War Secretary. That’s another kind of gone, lamentable but also more comforting than oblivion.

I’ve also been encouraged by my spouse to think about the possibility of our being gone for good from our family homestead of nearly seventeen years, in part because Older Daughter’s about to be gone (to college) and because other changes may also be in store. I admit I do like the place out near Temple Road she found yesterday. But the thought of being permanently gone from my beloved little cave out back, glistening this morning under a fresh coat of white, makes me sad. This particular residence would come with a bigger and better detached retreat-house than mine, but…

“Detached” is a clue to the quality of this kind of regret. We become attached to our places, to our particular plots of earth. It’s hard to think of going, let alone packing and moving.

So I won’t, this morning. Spring Training’s in full sway now. There’s another kind of gone my inner child loves without qualification or regret, the kind that always ends in coming home. “It’s a goner!

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