As I’ve gotten older, switched careers, and learned to enjoy the quiet, I have slowly become a morning person. To be fair, I really only LOVE being a morning person during summer vacation. My house sits facing East-West and when I’m up in the morning, my back yard is bathed in this beautiful glow that filters through the towering oak trees in my “wild” backyard. Now, those of my friends reading this who live in Tahoe, Alaska, or other gorgeous ACTUAL wild backyards- my tiny slice of heaven may make you smile at the thought of this being labeled as “wild”. But in Chicagoland, Illinois, where the chaos of traffic and tiny square plots of land is the norm- I’ll take my 1/2 acre that makes me feel like I’m waking up in a cabin in the woods. The blue-jays and robins land on the trees outside my window, the squirrels and sparrows fight over a hole in a knot in the giant oak tree. I watch the chipmunk scurrying across my deck- he stops in front of my screen door and I smile at him- I have to smile. I can’t think that he’s burrowing into my house somewhere- ha. I look at my herb garden, and my vain attempt to grow tomatoes in a space that I know has far too much shade. But this is my little slice of paradise, and it’s quiet in the morning. The songs of the birds, the rustle of the leaves in the wind, mixed with the occasional car going by, creates a symphony of sounds that makes me feel so very peaceful and so very lucky.
Today is my last day in my home for two months. Today drive down to Naperville to stay with my mom before we’re on a plane to Europe. Leaving this place I’ve created into my home is more difficult than I thought it would be. I’m trusting it to a young woman I just met a few weeks ago- a college student who will be staying here while I’m gone. She is a wonderful, smart, easy-going- person- but it’s a little unnerving knowing I have to throw so much trust in someone that my house will be standing when I return. Pondering over this thought, though reminds me of the trust that you have when you travel- trust in the kindness of strangers, in taxi drivers, in your online booking sites. Sometimes you just have to take a sip of coffee, look around, shrug and trust the process.
Looking around, though, I have this place of which to return. I’ve never really had that before when I’ve gone out traveling- oh, sure- I’ve returned to apartments, my parent’s home and even my brother & sister-in-law’s home… but never my own. I kinda like the feeling. My heart, my brain, my entire being yearns to travel- to explore-to learn about new cultures- eat new foods and be a global member of society. Sometimes I want to say “screw it” and throw on the backpack and never look back. But then there are other days, like this morning, where I look out onto this little paradise that I created and realize that having a home is a great thing to return to.