Well. Here I am. Out of Snowdonia. Back in the US of A. Back in the South, no less.
Time to see if I can be reintroduced into my native habitat.
Judging by the number of times I have almost been hit by cars by looking the wrong direction before crossing the street, no.
Judging by the fact I am walking while in the Deep South, no.
This is the land of big trucks. Not the land of the little woman walking. . . .
But I am here.
And it is good.
Well, it’s mostly good.
There is a saying, I think, that you can never go home again. I’m quite possibly bastardising that terribly, but surely it makes sense.
Going ‘home’ again is tough. Home isn’t the same. You aren’t the same. Yet everything is the same.
Arriving is always a pain. Border Control is awful. It’s always awful. That’s not a purely American issue, though the Americans (and the Brits) do manage to make one’s arrival feel a particular nuisance. But, in truth, even I tire of lamenting immigration and xenophobia, so, this time, I won’t.
They did let me in. Which is good.
And, I made it to my final destination. Which is also good.
And it is hot. It is hot in that way that only the deep, deep, deepest South is hot. The kind of heat you wear as much as you sense. Heat and humidity with lives of their own.
That’s what I miss more than anything else. That heat. That humidity. That feeling of trying to move through thick soup. It’s ridiculous how alive it makes me feel.
It also makes me stink.
But even that brings a certain nostalgic happiness.
So I’m back. Slightly the same. Mostly different.
I have decided, on this particular journey, to make an effort to reconnect with some of my past. To talk to people I have not contacted in years. To physically be in the presence of people I ‘used to’ know. To actually touch and feel the past.
That will be good, I think. And bad. And funny. And upsetting.
But it will also be real.
So, I am here. The hellos have been said. The family have been greeted.
Now to the car.
And the hot, hot road.
And the depths of Alabama.