Home away from home

The rain stopped just a minute ago. A slight mist rises from the hot asphalt, an accent against the deep green of the tree leaves.

My shoulders drop as though I’d let a heavy backpack slip from them.

Everything I can see is green. Trees, plants, just green. No cement. No asphalt except the two-lane road. The speed limit is 25 mph, except a couple stretches where it’s 35. But lots of people in our community only go 15 or 20 mph, no matter what road they’re on.

I slow down. I just want to look. Want to feel the gradual ascent and the curve of the road as it obeys the lay of the mountain.

Because of Tom’s stroke, I haven’t been back to our house in a month. In that time, summer has reached its fullness. The heat and rain have brought out millions of leaves, billions of tiny insects, and I don’t know how many katydids. 

When darkness comes, their chorus chanting fills the forest with call and response. The rise and fall of that rhythm makes me feel a part of a much bigger lifecycle than my mere few decades.

“Home” is wherever I am with Tom.  But since he is in a rehab hospital, and I can’t stay there with him, I have to again redefine home.

I’ve settled in at the condo and when he is back, it will be home.

But in this moment home is a green space, where everything is slower and more peaceful, where I can lose my identity without it being stolen by anyone.

Today’s penny is a 2007, the year that we moved here.

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