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September 2021
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End of a Journey

By Xiao

Sitting on the hardwood floor of a downtown posh apartment, it does not feel like home, I have to admit, not because the lack of furniture, I am used to that. Instead, I could not help but thinking of my favorite rock from Alaska, which I fished out of a ice-cold river recommended for gold rush tourists, on the way to Purdoe Bay, Alaska. The naturally dagger-shaped river rock was broken last night during our move when we were trying not to disturb any neighbors. After the long journey, it is gone. It happens, I tell myself, but the sense of loss is unavoidable. We finished cleaning out the airstream, our home for the bigger part of last year. But I will choose it over any apartment, almost any time. Here, every time our “Green Monster” roars loudly among its usual luxury neighbors in the downstairs parking space, we know our fellow tenants think the neighborhood is going. With some of the hottest restaurants in town just cross the street, and the “big apple” just a train ride away, somehow, it is hard for me to feel belong, it is just convenient. Yes, if everything goes well, we will have the top 5, 10% household income in America again. But unless the job is interesting and meaningful, it is hard to compare the costs of different life styles.

Before we left Alaska, c said we would go back every year, but I knew it would not happen. Because once we are back to the life before, we would be back down to the dreaming stage again with the regularities called life. A week of driving from west coast to east coast, we stopped at “mountain top”, our first real campground. We waited for Roger and Margret to arrive. It was like back in the old days, even though it was not that long ago. But the journey of almost 20,000 miles inbetween certainly made it feel like ages ago. Even just the names of the places we visited are beyond my imagination, from “Hungry Horse”, to “White Horse”, to “Dead Horse”, just a taste. Now we are stationary again in the new year of 2009. I look back, and ask myself, am I wiser? I am not sure, but I do get to know myself better, though more questions come into my thoughts as usual. Experience makes who we are, and the journey certainly made a mark on us. I do have regrets, and from time to time do think maybe we should not have done it. In life, you gain some, you lose some. On this journey, we have been to places we would have never been to, we have met people we would never have crossed path. The truth is, it’s precious. For me, it is not just the pictures, the stories, or the memory. The journey was not just a journey, it was our life, we laughed and we cried; we were alive and we have changed. Now the journey ends, life contines.

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