i whipped off my socks and boots, inhaling fluttering scents, so familiar as if i could greet them clearly as old friends. naming them one by one, bare feet leaving prints on the dashboard :: burning leaves, fresh cut grass, the smell of heat. as sunshine. hits the pavement. of the road before us. tender, delicate like the pillow of soft blades of grass, clumping around my twelve year old toes. i roll call these smells to my husband as i'm not sure he can clasp each one in his fist like i can in mine. smells that trigger memories of a far away time that cause agitation rolling around in my stomach that makes me grip the door frame of our car as we drive home from a friend's house this morning. Nearly in silence, i slowly let my hands play in the wind outside the car window, coating my skin in a way similar to kneading homemade cookie dough. jimmy thinks about how he doesn't want to go to work today.
for the first time in months, i've given these feelings a name. i'm homesick. as careless as it sounds, sticking your keys in the door when you get home, checking your rearview mirror before changing lanes, i realize that i've never been homesick before. i try the words out on my tongue. homesick. i'm homesick. i am. i've spent so much of my life trying to get away from my home, boarding away at girl scout camp, spending nights tucked in beside my bestfriends' houses, traveling to different countries, counseling kids for summers at a time -- it has never occurred to me that i may actually miss the place that i come from. but i do. it hits me so hard, deflates my lungs, and makes me toss the possibilities around in my head as if they were components of a salad . . .
of big houses and sprawling yards, hand stands and sitting on the porch talking, gardens and sewing and streetlights coming on when it truly is dark. of warm summer air wrapping tightly around your body like a shawl, the delicate barrier of a screen door, my feet coming in contact with grass and mud enveloping my toes. my sister and brother and mom and step dad, of all the time that i've spent away when i had so much near. of catching up on everything i don't know about their lives and them of mine. of slowing down and taking a break and giving up on desks in offices and hundreds of people that exhume all my energy, leaving me litte time to even appreciate myself.
i know i could change things around so quickly, rearranging puzzle pieces until a match is found. i could go home for a weekend or a month, spend time with my mom that i still haven't done. but my outstanding question asks, "what happens when i get bored with that?"