A trip to Alaska. Tutoring a friend’s granddaughter in writing. A year with Dad. This seems to be my next year. A year to live with my dad while I write a book, while he learns to live as a widower, while we learn to live again, this time without Mom.

I’ve been looking for a path, and this seems to be it. Dad asked what kind of time it would take for me to write a book, and I told him a year. He suggested I live with him during that time and write. I told him I’d think about it.

I have been thinking about it, and it seems best. I will have to give up some teaching (maybe all my teaching). I will have to live at home again (and my dad will have to live in a house with four cats.) I will have to live without most of my belongings.

But I will have time to write. I will have time and a place to take long walks and mourn Mom. I will have a chance to comfort and be comforted by my father who plays his favorite artist John Denver as I write this. I will have a chance to, again, be a part of this community that my parents have called home for over 20 years now. I will have a new start.

That new beginning seems to be so right at this moment when the life I was walking before has come to what, at least from this angle, seems like a dead end. Maybe this year will bring me out of the wilderness, a journey walked in words and tears.