The other morning, Granny and I were sitting in the Vampire Room* sipping our coffee and talking about nothing, though everything was not off limits.
At one point, I was musing on the fact that this has been a strangely stilted evolution for me, to have moved permanently to a spot that has been so temporary up ’til now.
It makes sense that, this past summer, it didn’t really feel like I’d moved here.
Like, for good.
After the wedding, it was a summer so similar to the dozen others we’d spent here. A season of rope swings and kayaks and buttery lobster. Of long, lazy hours with real books in Adirondack chairs.
Summers have that wondrous ability to ignore the calendar’s numbers and boxes.
The luxury of asking, ‘What day is it?’ being an amazing side effect of time ‘away’.
A quarter-century of three (and a half) others’ calendars so heavily influencing my own ebbs and flows had, it seemed, created a remarkably thick and rigid muscle memory.
My brain seemed to be hiccuping a bit when it came to navigating my days as August did a backflip into September.
Whether muscle-memory or memory-memory, my ‘self’ thought it ought to be back in Dunstable, away from this amazing, schedule-thwarting part of the planet. I had school to prepare for… soccer pasta parties to plan… writing to transcribe from bribed muses…
Halloween was soon to tumble into Thanksgiving and then Christmas and I was going to be so far behind!
I felt like a kid trying to stop after getting her first bike with handbrakes… the surprise of finding the kick of the foot brake totally absent and trying to maintain balance whilst peddling maniacally backward.
I had to get back, get to work… it was waiting for me…
That’s what I had to tell my brain… ‘Oh, wait.’
‘The Work’ is different now.’
It is also, apparently, portable.
The Mom-ing, a vocation with requirements spanning time’s infinity, can take place from here. As can the roles of Wife, and Daughter-in-Law, Friend, and Thumb (a dog-specific role, necessitating the use of my thumb for everything from opening the dog food container to the proper use of a Chuck-It). JoHn’s job can be done from here, as can our writing (his cray cray thriller stuff and mine… which I still have trouble describing).
‘The Work’, the life, is here (with jaunts for visits and haircuts of course).
I’m absorbing this fact slowly… but it is happening.
I catch myself smiling each time I walk into the garage part of the barn, where we park our cars (hence the ‘garage’ part of the ‘garage part of the barn’)… there is a six-foot-tall, 25 foot wall of cement along one side. This is where the wood lives. Fourteen-inch split logs, nearly two cords of it.
Oodles of people get wood, every day.
But this wood, this year, in this place is no ordinary wood.
It’s a declaration.
A declaration of home.
It is here to feed fireplaces, until now underused – their metabolisms about to be emboldened, appetites becoming as massive and bottomless as those of teenage boys.
The wood was followed by other signs of home as well.
Items packed away in plastic tubs have found their way inside…
Halloween’s spooky portability making itself known…
And soon, this all will tumble into Thanksgiving and then Christmas and a New Year will indeed happen and I will be here for all of it.
Silly brain of mine.
You are home.
I suppose it makes sense that this realization would not happen all at once.
It’s been more like waves of an awakening.
Of compromise, a little give and take.
I can’t imagine losing the amazing feeling of inspiration and magic infused in this place, simply because it is no longer a ‘get away’.
I even want continued access the luxury of ‘What day is it?’, not because I am on vacation from my life, but because I am on vacation in my life… my changing work and duties simply woven betwixt and between time to breathe and be with others, and also with just me.
It is my life, after all and, as a key stakeholder, I figure I have a big say in the creation of it.
‘Home is where the heart is’ is not a frivolous notion, home-making being an involved and nuanced undertaking.
If the heart is here, then this is where it will form wrinkles and scars from winces and breaks as it beats through tough – and even the toughest – times.
But then again, this is also where it will heal.
And become overwhelmed with wonder, and love.
This feels like a pretty good place for all of that, this little edge on the sea in Maine.
No more accidental backpedaling as my brain tries to skid to a stop.
“Dude, what are you thinking?!” I will remind it (more than once if I have to)…
“We’re all in.”
Thanks for readin’.
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*The Vampire Room was once an old porch at one end of The Inn. It’s small, but paneled in a way that – when it’s dark outside, reminds us of a room in which a be-caped Bela Lugosi would be quite comfortable.
*The Inn is not really and inn right now (though the man who walked right into our front door this summer, asking if we had a vacancy, didn’t realize that). It was once an inn though, until about 1944.