It's amazing to me the simple things that make life so wonderful. Yesterday afternoon, Shepherd and I went on a little walk. I put him in our new Kelty backpack (that we bought used for $20, which totally rocks!) and we took off walking. He babbled away contentedly in the pack, gazing up at the birds flying south, and occasionally pulled at my ponytail as if to say, "Move along, Mommy... move along." We walked down to the playground, and into the field beside the playground. The field ends at some thick brush, and drops off into a creekbed. I would say the creek is 100 yards down, and if there wasn't a whole lot of traffic, you could probably hear it from the top of the hill. We walked along the crest of that hill, gazing into the woods, watching bluejays flit from tree to tree, calling out warning to other birds who dared to bother them. We listened to the crickets chirping their evening song. I paused a moment, and it seemed Shepherd paused too, as he sat still and quiet, and we both listened to the sounds around us. I took a deep breath in, and for a moment, I was home.
No, I wasn't back in North Carolina, but for a moment, this place, this open field, in Northern Virginia, was home. I thought to myself after that how I'd never felt that, and how wonderful it was to let that seep into my heart. To allow where I am to be home, even if it's not where I'd want to be. And all of the sudden, the silliness of my complaining and desiring to be home hit me. I'd been wasting so much energy focusing on getting back to where I'd been, that I'd lost the joy of being where I am. For so long, I've felt like a stranger, walking around these apartments, being inside my apartment, with none of it feeling familiar, though I'd been here for some time. I'd felt left out, alone, and far away from the things I loved. But with that one breath, and in that stillness, I was able to claim a piece of the now, and accept it for what it is.... Home.