First it was only going to be for three months, then four, then six more, and after that came another six.

And a year and a half later I hand it the letter that explains hows grateful I am for the experience, but yes, the rumors are true.

I will be leaving Slate Falls, September 31, 2012.

I know I’ll start to look back the minute I leave. Not wishing for it again or doubting my decision, but looking back with that clarity that  history brings. Going over the moments. The things I wish I would have done. The lessons I learned that I am not noticing yet.

Right now, it’s still just daily life.

And it is hard for me to see it as anything but that. I’m still getting up at 7 and getting to work by 830. I’m still packing lab coolers and organizing the pharmacy. I’m still walking home and covering for medical driver on the weekend. I’m still getting called to guard at the jail. I”m still dealing with the emotional remains of too many kids almost dying this winter.

But I know, as soon as my car pulls out of Rawhide Rd, and I realize this is no day trip to Dryden for groceries, it will all come crashing in.

All the joys, and victories, the regrets, and I-wish-I-would-haves will be brought into sharp focus by the very act of pulling away, of cutting off, of leaving.

So for now, I just do the next thing, and breath in the lake air a little deeper, trying to save up for the day when I won’t be able to run down to the dock to watch the sunset.