But this time something will be different. Sure, I'll have my battleship posters, book cases, and comforting knick-knacks that I've hung on walls going back to Boston, and even before. But I'll also have someone to share this new move and new home with. My wife-to-be, Jackie. We'll get married two weeks before we trundle into Lancaster (pronounced "Lan-KIS-ter," I've been told or warned) with our combined belongings and another open road, one of sharing our lives, ahead of us. And for that road, I don't own a map. Same for my new career as a freelance writer, though I've met some travelers on both. We'll figure it out.
All these changes remind me of a poem called "Old Paths" I wrote years ago when I first learned to drive. The road that inspired this poem was Stoney Hill Drive, not far from the house where I grew up in Hudson, Ohio.
You know you’ve grown up
when one day, driving fast on a road
you realize how many times you
biked up this hill in childhood struggle.
Feet pounding the pedals, body arched in conflict
with the cruel rise.
the gears slip automatically
to the machine's prescribed rhythm.
The curves dwindle in the background,
memories regulated to a small, rectangular mirror.
Already, I forget what road it was.