Lately I’ve been thinking about how for much of my life I have been restless and in early years, plagued by wanderlust. My adult life has been one of yearning for love and pervasive dissatisfaction with where I was, what I was doing. I don’t feel these things now. I thought about it being the result of being 68 etc. but that isn’t it. It isn’t even the result of having traveled around a bit and living abroad in a pretty exotic locale during exotic times. It’s that I like it here. I don’t think I would always have liked it here — probably not — but after living through all of that dissatisfaction, yearning and wanderlust, I learned some things about who I am.

There’s also the fact that I’m now able to do the things I want to do. I remember cramming a weekend full of writing or painting. Of hiking as far as I could after work or (as my grandma would say) “Of a Sunday.” I think some of my youthful restlessness came from just working so much and having so many intense and hopeless family obligations.

I wanted OUT, but I couldn’t get out.

I’ve also thought about travel. I don’t have a lot of yearning in that regard, either. Have I been everywhere I want to go? No. But I can’t go to many of the places I want to go because it’s not “then” any more. I fell in love with the idea of adventure travel reading Richard Halliburton’s book Seven League Boots when I was a little girl. I imagined that I would do those things when I grew up, but when I grew up the world had turned. I couldn’t travel like him, or Beryl Markham, T. E. Lawrence, Richard Francis Burton or any of my heroes. It didn’t stop me from trying and I had a lot of fun, but my last adventure out into the world really sucked. I had a torn Achilles tendon that made the hikes I’d envisioned in Switzerland impossible. Iceland had it in for me. Never mind that air travel today is humiliating for any one with metal body parts and uncomfortable even for short people. Everything has been “monetized,” even choosing a seat.

So here I am. Stationary and fine with it, a situation I never imagined. Life has taught me that I want to see mountains every day maybe even all the time. I want to live where there is winter. I want dogs. I want to paint and write. I want to be as healthy as possible. I want good friends, and peaceful days without personal crises. I don’t know that that’s old age. It seems to me that those are worthy human goals.

But, still and probably always, I want to go back to Zürich. 😉