Turns


I don’t make transitions well. Changing seasons can make me ill; the low-angled light, the changes in air pressure and temperature seem to gang up on me. Travel to new time zones is only slightly harder than switching to daylight savings. Travel to different altitudes can lay me low. Delayed meals will cause digestive upset.

Time change isn’t the only thing that makes transition difficult. I get motion sickness – not just air sick or car sick, but also bus sick and train sick. Which means I don’t eat much when I’m in motion, and that’s another thing to which I make my body adjust.

It’s the body I’m stuck with, so I have learned to accommodate.

This means that I have to control my environment. I need to get up at the same time every day and eat meals at about the same time. If I cannot go to bed at the same time every night, I still have to try to get the same amount of sleep. And I don’t nap well.

This is all prelude, of course.

Because I’ve travelled three hours west, my body is failing to make the transition well. Even by my usual terms, eating dinner at 9 pm is way too late. So add three hours. Devastation. Going to bed at midnight is fairly standard for me – but add three hours. I forgive myself for knocking over the glass at dinner, spilling sparkling grape juice on the floor, table cloth, and my new sweater.

Some months ago, I read an article about how some people are much more physically constrained. They get motion sick; they don’t adjust to time changes; they require regularity. I’d quote that article, but it’s entirely too early in the morning here, and I can’t figure out the necessary query to dredge it up.

So, one could reasonably ask, ‘why travel?’

For all that my body is no help, I love to see the sun rise over water. I like to smell mountain air, deeply perfumed with evergreen. And I really like my family. So, as the sun rises over the mountains – even though I cannot see the coast, or smell the mountains – there’s no place better to be as the season turns toward spring than here – where my extended family-by-marriage welcomes me as a sister, mother, cousin, friend.

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