My friend Reggae Mama and her family moved to The Woods from the Bay Area just a few months before we did. She recently told her husband that she wants to buy a house now. She's ready to have two feet planted on the East Coast instead of straddling the country with one foot in California.
I know I have one heavy foot in California, but I'm not sure how to drag it out this way-- or even how to know that it's arrived. Our home-buying was built into the move, so I can't use realty as an indicator of my readiness to be fully here. I can't imagine there will ever be a time when I'm not a little bit homesick. As usual, I watch my dreams for a sign.
This is what I see when I dream about California. I'm always walking through the neighborhoods where it's sunny and every flower is blooming. Since we've moved to The Woods I've had the occasional dream that I never left California, or that I've moved back there. R doesn't exist in these dreams-- or if he does, it's as I'm waking, realizing that I don't want to move without him. It makes for a quiet morning.
This week I had the same dream of walking the sidewalks past the brightly painted houses. It's warm and breezy, and I'm inspecting neighborhood roses. Then I return to an apartment where Sweet P and I lived together before R came into our lives, but in the dream R and I rent it-- it's our vacation spot.
I look around the apartment and think about how lucky I am to have this place to visit whenever I want, when all of a sudden I realize how much it costs to keep up an apartment we only use one or two weeks a year. It's an outrageous expense that we can't afford.
I decide to tell R, when I go back to The Woods, that we should give up the California apartment and save our money, use it to improve our home in Massachusetts. I'm a little sad about it, but I know it's the right thing to do.
I woke up, and I wasn't grief-stricken. I was happy that my subconscious finally caught up with reality-- that the idea of going back to The Woods was just a natural course of dream events instead of the drama that cried me awake.
Having one foot in California isn't as expensive as renting an apartment there, but there is an emotional cost, and I'm not sure I can afford to pay it much longer. Maybe if I can't drag my foot over here, I can make it dance.
On the flip side of my subconscious, I also dreamed I was having Christmas dinner with my dad, so there are many miles to go down that path before I wake. One journey at a time.