It’s been a year on the road now, so to the handful of people who ask how long we’re going to do this, I can say with some authority: more than a year.
After our time in the forest we headed back down to the coast, picking up the main highway in Port St. Joe before heading out, way out, on to the long peninsula known as Cape San Blas. There’s a state park out at the end of the cape with a nice enough campground and by far the nicest beach on this stretch of the Panhandle. It doesn’t hurt that it’s only a few steps from the campground.
This is just around the corner from what I think is still our favorite spot in the Panhandle, St. George Island, Apalachicola Bay. I don’t know what it is about this stretch of Florida. Maybe it’s me. To me then everything seems just a little bit nicer here, sharper here, clearer here, the sand a little whiter, the sea a little calmer, the sun a little brighter, the bugs a little fewer. Okay that’s a lie. There’s plenty of biting midges here just like the rest of the coast.
Winter seems to have left anyway, finally, a brief rainstorm on our first day giving up a week of perfect 75 and sunny days at the beach.
A year later we’re very close to right back where we started, which feels natural to me.
Everything moves in cycles. Time is a vast swirling whirlpool, spinning us all around and around, each time a little different than the last, but themes emerge, patterns emerge, events repeat, for us, in the world around us. It’s spring again, the birds are migrating back from the Yucatan and points south, just as they did last year. We’ve returned from our own migration. In couple of months the storms will begin to spin across the ocean, gather speed and rush toward the land. Animals, people, natural systems, everything is moving through cycles that have been repeating endlessly for longer than anyone can calculate. Don’t like where things are today? Wait a week, it’ll all change.
There are cycles within cycles. From Ice Ages to Civilizations, everything rises and fall following roughly the same cyclical trajectories. Travelers rise and fall. It’s been a year worth of rises and falls, with any luck we’ll have a many more years, many more seasons, many more migrations, many more rises and yes, many more falls.