It's escapism, to be sure: too many hours spent speeding down and up 280, too many spent modifying the mental balance sheet that will determine when and how I leave my job, too many spent wondering whether I should hike out of San Francisco before I watch the majority of my friends do the same--all of these hours have sent me racing backward in memory to moments I want here, now, again.

I want back those hushed few hours in the Bluebird in Nashville, with beer and bar food and songs alternately hilarious and heartbreaking.

I want back the afternoon of swimming half-naked in the Mediterranean, taking myself farther and farther from shore as J held down our fort among the topless French tourists on the beach.

I want back the end of our hike in Waterton, when the fear of plummeting to my death on scree had passed, when G and I lagged behind to look at the waterfalls at the edge of the trail and make out disgustingly, when the promise of pizza, beer, a shower, and a night in a proper bed with a roof over our heads (and presumably no large mammalian visitors) was close enough to taste.

Weird though it sounds, I want back that evening in late March seven years ago when Monique and I drove out of Kansas and into Oklahoma, into one of the most stupefyingly brilliant sunsets I've ever seen. We stopped by the side of the road so we could take it in and I could take a photo, just sat there for a few minutes in silence. Because darkness was coming quickly and we had somewhere (miles away) to be, we didn't stay long. But those moments are still clear to me now, even several years later, a subtle reminder that the things that can make me feel whole and grounded again are out there somewhere, even in the most unexpected places.