20 of ’20: #10. Leaving Town

This is my second annual “Best Of” series of year-end posts. Some, I assume, will be brief. Some longer. All, varying degrees of serious. I’ll try my best not to use the words or phrases “unprecedented,” “new normal,” or “unpresidented”, but I can’t make any promises.


I left the greater Waco metropolitan area five times this year. Two were for funerals. One was to go hiking at Ft. Parker State Park, only to find out that early in the pandemic the entire state of Texas was visiting state parks, necessitating a reservation that had a months-long waiting line. Another was to do some socially-distanced, masked Enneagram work in Dallas, and another to help good friends who were in a bind with family-health/home-schooling/general-pandemic issues. The latter was probably the riskiest behavior, from a COVID standpoint, I participated in all year. But it also gave me the connection I needed to make it through.

I think you fall in love with a place the more you are able to leave it. This has certainly been the case with me and Waco. I love the returning as much as I love the leaving. I try to time it at sunset, because there’s something special about the surprise of the colors bouncing between the Brazos, the Suspension Bridge, and the Alico. And though my leaving was limited this year, I think that enhanced how special it was. I’m hoping more leaving is in store for 2021, because that will mean more returns.

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