This week marks a return — to Maine after a few weeks visiting friends and family, and to this blog after more than a few weeks of radio silence. June got away from me.
I feel somewhat scattered, as usual when I’m acclimating…I keep leaving objects in odd places and forgetting things as soon as I’ve thought them. The heat doesn’t doesn’t help with this, or with tempers in the ‘hood — a young woman has been swearing vehemently for the past fifteen minutes in the parking lot next door.
When you come back from away, at first it’s like entering someone else’s life — you see your home as a guest might: the pictures, the bed, the order or lack of it. For the first hours and days, you feel you could choose whether to resume this life or walk away. There’s an interval before your accustomed life reclaims you, a space both free and uncomfortable, in which you’re not sure whether you belong to your life, or it to you.
It’s curious what harbingers usher in belonging. This time it was the string of pineapple lights my landlord hung on the deck as a surprise, and the Cool Whip container his wife placed under one of my plants to help it drink. Her attentiveness reminds me I read somewhere that the word diligence derives from a root meaning love. I liked this idea so much that I exhort my students with it while refusing to google whether it’s actually true.
Going away and coming home is what meditation is. And in travels of any kind, you want to take the landings gently.