Recently I returned from a whirlwind trip to London and Paris which was delightful and exhausting. It felt as if we were in perpetual motion. Here’s what I noticed about returning home.

The quickening of my heartbeat as the cab inches closer in rush hour traffic. Could that be excitement?  Even after fourteen hours of travel, two movies, two airline meals, one glass of white wine, multiple snacks, no sleep, and a stiff neck? The search for the hidden key Jeff put in a new location as I wait, not patiently, on our chipped, brick steps. The stickiness of the front door that hasn’t been opened in a while. The stepping across the threshold into the cool air of the entryway. The stillness that shimmers in the afternoon light. The spareness of the decor, the sight of our stuff - the Ethiopian painting we gave each other for Christmas that beckons us, the droopy plants, the surface of the dining room table, emptier than usual -the happy inventory of our collective life bids us come in! The final setting down of our roller bags and backpack in the middle of the floor, the shedding of jackets and layers of warm clothing because when you left this morning it was 50 degrees, drizzling and dark. Here it is 85, humid and sunny. Quick, turn on the AC. In the kitchen, the blinking light of old messages on the old phone machine, the spoiled orange that sits alone in the fruit bowl, the drainer next to the sink, full of dishes, the sponge that had sopped up the last drops of water now lies on the counter arching its brittle back for want of moisture. The cough and spit of faucets as we turn on spigots that have gone unused for a while. The re-immersing ourselves in the habits, the household we’ve set up to sustain us over the years. Such an easy delight to leave it all behind for a time, but oh, how open and ready the place feels. The final sliding into the cool satiny sheets, letting go into the familiar give of the mattress. Home, juicy home. 

 

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