I love visiting with my parents, and, no, I am not about to start back-stabbing them and ranting about how awful it was to stay in their home for free. And eat their food that they paid for. And have all of my needs met by other people. Or how terrible it was that my parents gave of their time and made sure my children were happy and let me have some independence and free time. Yeah…no. My parents are awesome, not awful.
But coming home is wonderful too. When I left nine days ago, the trees were skeletons lifting their naked arms to the sky, almost in a tragic lament. Everything was dingy and dun and ugly and it seemed as though life was struggling to find some its escape from winter.
And then I spent seven days in Florida where everything was warm and green and luscious. Daily, I listened to the chirping of a mating pair of osprey who were caring for the young. And, yes, osprey do chirp or something like that. They do not screech or scream like raptors. It’s just one piercing note that sounds like a chirp and is kind of endearing unless you are tired of listening to the chirps…but this is starting to sound like a rant and I am not going to rant.
Yesterday, the ride home was beautiful and lovely and easy and then it was filled with traffic which crawled at tedious paces and tested the fabric of my patience. But as I drew closer and closer to home, nature impressed upon me its beauty because the skeletons had lost their sad forms as the leaves burst from the tips of the branches.
Life was coming back.
Where I live, the trees have not fully foliated….is that the right word? Don’t care. It reminds me of the word foliage and that’s good enough for this simple girl. Although some trees are more burgundy with their leaf buds and other trees’ leaves are a bit skimpy and under-whelming, I don’t care. The sad skeletons have pulled on their skins and my world’s axis is tipped towards the sun again.
Coming home also means curling back up in my bed next to my husband who stayed home to take care of some projects that he has been wanting to complete. Also, my husband’s incredibly sensitive skin makes dealing with Florida and sun and sand a bit of a trial by rashes and hives. So, I kissed him good-bye and went on my merry way and slept in a pull-out bed with my daughter. Now, my parents have been lovely and covered their pull-out bed with a really thick pad. However, no matter how many pads and covers and accessories that you can put on a bed, nothing will stand against my daughter and her need to stretch on the bed. Perpendicular to me. So, at night, I would have size six feet (young woman’s size) kicking me or trying to push me off the bed.
My husband, he curls up around me and holds me. No kicking. No pushing. Just a warm circumference in which nothing is spoken but love is communicated.
Home is two levels so that when I wake up, I can go downstairs and turn on the television and the children are still upstairs in their rooms, sleeping deeply and I have a few minutes of privacy. Home is where messes are normal and even a bit expected and spilled coffee is okay because it’s not on the white carpet of doom. Sorry, Mom if you are reading this, but even you would agree that the white carpet is a trap.
Home is where everything is a little out of place which fits all the wonky angles of my body. Home is where I can put my feet on the furniture.
I love going on vacations. I love slipping out of the door and out of my normal skin and putting on the skin of the vacationer and channeling my inner Indiana Jones. I love exploring the world. I love seeing new things and touching new things and meeting new people and hearing new stories. I love the joy of not knowing what is on the other side of the horizon. I love finding that new corner to visit.
But I also love the placid quietness of home, even if that quiet is infiltrated by the sounds of my children wrestling with the neighbor’s children and their shrieks are louder than a chirping osprey.
If anything, the joy of a good vacation is that when I come home, I love home just a little more.