It’s nice to get away. No matter how much I like my life, the grind of everyday living eventually takes its toll. No matter how beautiful the scenery, I take it for granted. Yes, that’s my view: brambles and trees and paths that wind through the woods as the sun shining through makes dappled patterns on every surface. Hard to believe, but one gets used to it. When I go away and come home again, everything here seems fresh.
I am reminded daily, sometimes several times a day, how special my life is. Fall crept in, just a little bit, while I was gone. The mosquitoes have just about disappeared; morning air is fresh and cool. The garden is relaxing into this end-of-season, giving up its last and most appreciated offerings. My window sill is lined with fat tomatoes; every meal features them in some way.
The dogs are cuter than ever, or maybe simply just as cute as ever. They give me a hundred reasons to smile every single day. Blackie Chan has taken to talking to me when he’s ready for his morning walk, or waiting for his dinner. Rosa Parks, following her brother’s example, has started cocking one rear leg high in the air to pee, but only when he’s around to see it. When she goes outside without him, she squats to pee, as usual.
Darla’s infinite patience with and kindness toward the little dogs makes my heart swell. If Blackie Chan wanders down the neighbor’s driveway, which he is not supposed to do, Darla waits there for him, a worried expression on her big face. When Darla and Rosa Parks join forces in the front window to bark at the road truck. Rosa sometimes loses focus, and barks at Darla, instead. Darla gives me a look, and a little grin, but just continues on as if she were not suddenly under attack.
My house was the same as when I left it. My yard was surprisingly quite presentable. I’d heard we had a rainstorm, so I fully expected the grass to have once again grown to unmanageable lengths, but no. Inside, the houseplants were slightly droopy but responded right away to being watered. Both house and yard were no worse off than when I left ten days before. Except that I’ve noticed, and appreciated, their simple comfort and beauty since I’ve been home.
My job was waiting for me, and I was happy to get back to work. It was nice to see my coworkers, and to get updates on everything here. When I got called in to work yesterday, on my day off, to help with a problem, I felt honored rather than put out by the request.
In fact, I have been spending this week falling in love, once again, with my life here. Sometimes, I just have to get away. I need to reconnect with family and friends, take in the bigger world, and open myself up to new experiences. One of the best things about leaving, though, is the coming home again.