I’m sitting in my comfortable apartment on the beach in beautiful San Diego. My patio door is open. I can feel a cool sea breeze and hear the waves. Up until a few weeks ago I had a near perfect life. I had a cool girlfriend, my dream job and I was living in one of the greatest cities in the world. The girlfriend was the first to go. The job ends in two months and although I love San Diego it will feel different soon. I can always come back. That is what I tell myself when the fear creeps in.
In third grade when we were studying the pioneers, the teacher told us that when a pioneer family had exhausted all their options in one area or when they thought there was an better opportunity over the horizon, they would never just pack their things in the wagon and leave. They would always burn down the house before they left. The reason for this is that in the nineteenth century wood was cheap. In most places it was free if you had an ax and some spare time. Nails, however, which were hand made of steel were expensive. So the settlers would burn down their wood house on the last night before they left. In the morning they would pick the irreplaceable nails out of the ashes. With these little bits of steel and their tools they would they leave the smoldering ashes of what had been a safe place and move forward into the unknown.
It is not quite a pile of smoking ash yet but the fire is burning strong and bright. I’m going to enjoy its warmth and beautiful glow while I can, but very soon I will be picking up my small pieces of steel and moving on.