I’ve been away.

The wedding was lovely. The drive was looong, made much longer by the fact that we had to drive more or less straight through from Massachusetts to Virginia in order to make it in time to change for the ceremony. The whole ride I kept thinking that we were just one good traffic jam from missing everything, but nothing went wrong, and we made it there, and even got to see a rainbow as we waited for the wedding to start.

D.C. was also great. I hadn’t been since I was in college–a very long time ago. We went to the zoo, and wandered all around the Mall, and made our way through a few areas in the Museum of Natural History. The kids loved traveling on the Metro–yes, we’re that provincial–and it was great to be walking, not driving. Most of all, it was wonderful to stay with good friends–the kind of visit that’s a balm for the soul.

Then we went to Gettysburg. The kids and I have been working on Civil War things this fall, so I felt an obligation to tour a battlefield. That’s really how it felt–an obligation.

The truth is that it was amazing. It felt very much like standing on the fault line running through American history, one that continues right on into the present, and the future. I relate to the land more than I relate to dates, and being able to walk through the fields and up the hills, monuments scattered everywhere, taught me more than anything I ever learned sitting in a classroom. I’m still getting my head around it, and expect I will be for some time to come.