It’s windy outside, windy and warm and not really all that December-y, but I’m glad to be home, glad to not have to wear a hat outside, all right with the fact that my hair will blow in every which way, riding the whims of the breeze.
It takes a lot to travel from this little corner of the world: a cross-country flight means an all day journey. On the way back to the coast on Saturday, I wound up sitting in a standstill line of cars on a two-lane road. It could mean only one thing, and that’s indeed what it meant: an accident, in this case fatal. I was not upset by the traffic. I am agnostic at best, yet still sent a prayer up for the man’s family, for anyone who might be listening.
(Do other people do this? Close their eyes and wish a soul well, wherever souls go when they leave this earth?)
By the time I got home, I was tired but thrilled to be in my house, which was left clean by the dog-sitters. The puppies were ecstatic, tumbling over themselves in their joy to see me. I felt the same for them, and was so humbled by their love. All night and through yesterday, they came up to me to find ways to be close. The girl puppy put her head on my shoulder, again and again. The boy puppy leaned hard up against me, pawed at my hand whenever I’d pause in petting him.
I tried to get outside, Saturday and Sunday, to breathe this clean air and to soak in all that nature has to offer. I miss my family so much; seeing them at holidays isn’t really enough. One day, last week, my nephew put his nose just against mine and said, “I am thankful for you, Aunt Anna.” So it’s official that I am not whole, that part of my heart is always somewhere else.
But still, another part of me knows I belong here, at least for now. This ocean, these trees, this home: they’re mine too, and I am theirs. I know I am lucky for all of it, the longing and the peace, the east and the west, the distance and the comfort.
It is sweet and complicated, this little life. But it is indeed and undoubtedly mine. So I will take it, embrace it, love every bit I possibly can: for today, for December, for always.