Back on familiar ground, dancing familiar steps. I have a newly stiff back, a still-sore knee, and a slightly off-kilter internal clock. I’ve hugged some children (and exactly one husband), sorted some laundry, fed some pets, emptied some trash. It’s bedtime but I’m not ready. I’m the one who used to hide in the darkened bedroom floor, reading by the light that came under the closed or barely open door. I have to spend time with words to unwind my mind.
This was not an afternoon for unwinding. Quite the opposite. Exercise, snack, pack; visit a college capstone presentation; ride to the airport; eat a salad at an airport restaurant all by myself (what, no chicken nuggets?); fly home through apparently tornado-infested skies, though our able pilot and air traffic controllers kept us on a very calm course. That’s where the stiff back came from, though – the flight was an hour longer than scheduled, and my feet barely moved from their place against my under-seat carry-on bag for all that time. I don’t mind. Flying is worth it.
I saw serpentine rivers and oxbow lakes and rice paddies and cattle pastures and mountains toasted on the southern faces. I saw every shade of green and several of brown. I saw most of the cloud types I’ve learned to identify, and I saw sunset from above those clouds, then rain below them – but not on my window. I thought about living near a river, about how unpredictable life is when even a big river can change its course unexpectedly.
So here I am. Full of new stories, happy to continue the old ones. Expecting the unexpected, comfortable and still surprised by joy. Home again!