What Feels Like Home When I’m Home

2 1/2 years since I’ve been home. Among all the jumping around, family celebrations, family drama one easily forgets and amusingly is reminded of, feasts, embraces, glasses clinking- somehow there are moments to breath. Moments to hold on to and cherish. When everything stills as I remember. Yes, I’ve been gone too long.

The song of the cicadas only a native finds soothing. I sit in tall grasses and listen. It brings me back to late summer days and late fall afternoons walking back from soccer practice. Or evenings at home, falling asleep, they’d be singing from my window. This is peace. For me at least.

My nephew asks for hugs and I hold him tight. He shows me how he holds his 2 cats who trust him so much. He checks on me to see if I’m awake so he can greet me with another hug in the morning. Oh, how I’ll miss this. My heart aches, but fills me with wonder. What love is waiting from something 2 people create, I can only imagine.

Driving down winding roads with my best friend from high school. Trees lining the way back home. We stop in the middle of the road to take pictures. We know no one’s coming. With bare feet, I step out onto the gravel, out into the humid air, clean air, country air. We laugh as she directs me.

“Put one leg out. No, the other one. Now walk away from me,” She instructs.

And then we run back into the car which is still on and get to where we’re going.

“Profile worthy,” I proclaim.

Together we sing a throwback song from another time. We know every word. Finally, we’re feeling old.

I sit in the middle of my Dad’s living room, surrounded by framed paintings by William Blake and cat hair. Evlis, his cat, sits by my side. One half of his paw is missing, and when he walks, it reminds me of a pirate with a peg leg. I can always hear him coming.

I look out the windows onto the neighborhood street, and it’s absolutely still and quiet, save for the cicadas and the crickets. What town is this, I wonder, where I can feel like I’m the only person that exists in the middle of this place?

Again when I return, there will be more reminders that fill my memory. From the insect’s songs, to a simple embrace, or another impromptu photo shoot that is sure to ensue. I can’t be gone for this long again.

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