Being away from home can be fun, an adventure, and it can suck the life right out of you. Since late December, I have been on the road at one point or another. A trip to Ireland. South central Texas. San Jose, California. Houston, Texas. Mandeville, Louisiana. Now….Tulsa, Oklahoma. And while each trip has had positives and negatives for it, I really just want to go home.
You never really know how much you will miss the place you call home, until you are away for extended periods of time. For me, the reasons are many, and diverse. There is, of course, my three cats. Shadow, Gizmo, and Kaylee are my daily joys – when I am home. Sure, there’s cat crap to clean up, cat vomit to wipe off the wooden floors, the constant barrage of “pet me, pet me” that each cat can utilize as a guilt trip for my extended periods of abenstia; but all of that matters not when I lay in bed with kitties all snuggled against me.
Nearly every morning starts with a similar note: stepping outside with a bag of birdseed to scatter for the local feathered friends, stepping over to the stone circle to face East and thank the Sun for soaring once more into the sky to grace us with light and warmth. Then its back inside to make a cup of coffee and check Email before I get a shower and get dressed. Sometimes I change up the order that all that happens, just to shake up the start of the day. If its a weekday or a holiday, a quick check of the news takes place, and then its off to get chores finished and on to writing tasks. Otherwise, its getting dressed for work, gathering up everything that I need and driving the eleven miles down a farm road between two cow pastures to get to work.
My short drive to and from work provides me a daily peak at the changing of the seasons. Spring and early Fall herald the arrival of little calves, who romp tirelessly through the pasture in the mornings. In the evenings, they sit in the middle of the pasture, zonked out for the evening, with momma cows clustered near the fence line to provide a front-line defense against my pickup truck and other vehicles that drive down the road. The bushes at the side of the road, and the various trees along the way call out for the arrival of Spring as their leaves turn a bright green. In late Summer, those same leaves will turn a slightly brown color as the hot Texas summer has created a nearly desert-like environment. Later, at the end of Fall, those same leaves will fall from the trees to trumpet the start of Winter, against which the skeletal frames of those trees will attempt to survive.
Home is a comfortable place, where I cherish each and every one of these moments. And when I am away for long periods of time, I fear that I miss some spectacular moment that gets played out on this intense, local stage. I may miss the budding of a string of leaves along a branch, or the soft caws of the Crows that populate the fields between my work place and home. Or I may miss a spectacular running jump and leap of the newborn calves learning to grow into their springy, youthful cow legs. And for me, each event is an important part of who I am, and my connection to my local environment.
And truthfully, I want to go home….