Before we go, I cannot imagine being there. It’s like the memory game we used to play at birthday parties, when Mother would lay 10 objects on a tray, covered by a tea towel. She would then reveal them to us for exactly one minute. Staring at their bulges under the cloth, we had to write down all ten of them: thimble, pencil, napkin ring. . . .
The recollection of that place, however familiar, is no more than a blotch that appears in a frame amongst the cares of tidying the house, the last meeting and phone call, the hairdresser, the packing.
As we travel, the house and its concerns recedes. The language changes, the landscape, the purpose. We eat in a restaurant. A full menu, leisurely and anxious to get on our way again.
And then we arrive in the middle of the night. The house looms in the headlights of the car. The cat welcomes us. We make the bed and settle as best we can.
We’ve set foot on yonder shore.