Just as we finish scrambling along the wet shores of a makeshift lake, my phone rings. We’re behind a perfectly English stone wall, sheltered from the muddy road running away from the village. Just a 9-year-old boy and myself. We’ve been exploring the outskirts of the village, the secret swampy places between water and meadow, for nearly an hour. At one point, after I sink in the mud, I tell my companion about the time my Dad and I donned wellies and walked the length of our local creek, following it until it met the sea. Now he’s calling me, my Dad. From Buellton, the truck-stop town of grocery stores and auto-repair shops. I can’t see civilization from here (maybe the gleam of a thatched roof beyond the wall) but I can talk to California. I’m watching the 9-year-old leaping over a stream in the same way I used to do while I waited for my Dad to finish his work in the garage. I’m speaking to that same Dad while I watch the 9-year-old. There’s something strangely circular about this, and something dizzyingly meta. And, more simply, something rather delightful.
(Also, re: the last post, this, from Alain de Botton: “Journeys are the midwives of thought.”)