I'm not entirely a homebody. I like to get out, see things, and do things on a regular basis - even when I probably should be staying in and doing something constructive with my time, instead. That's just the way that I am. You are reading a blog titled The Wandering Sagittarius. It was named that for a reason.
Still, there's a certain way that things start to feel coming from one end of the lake to the other. It starts when the door to the corner single is locked, and the last of the stuff to be stuffed in the car is trucked down the stairs and out to the parking lot. It picks up in intensity as the final door is shut, and the car starts (hopefully the first time, if not, turn the key and wait for it - there's actually a system now) and there's this feeling of shedding a second skin (or something close to it) the further and further away from a four-story dorm building that one gets. With some country music coming through the speakers (or whatever radio station will come in, it honestly depends on where you are in the drive) things get a little lighter with each passing mile, and something really special happens when you pass the county line sign.
The feeling of coming home.
And that same feeling of relief, of coming home after a long, stressful journey is only intensified on the drive through the village, and then up the second hill, out once more into the trees and grass that's only brown because it hasn't had sufficient time to become beautiful again. Not that the place you truly call home is every ugly in your own eyes. And the closer and closer you get to the homestead, everything else sort of fades away and life becomes, in essence, simpler. Everything is simplified. Doesn't matter that you've still got a shitton of homework to do, or lessons to plan, and driving questions to figure out, doesn't matter that you're about three weeks behind in any and all of your reading (that one probably does matter, but definitely not at the moment) and what has been stressing you out for what seems like years kind of melts off and flies down through the car and out the exhaust pipe. Even the Focus, who can't normally find his way out of a paper bag, is scrunched in the backseat between the messenger bag and the backpack, head on a pillow and slightly glazed because he knows everything is going to be nice and easy for a little while.
When you pull in the parking lot (we have one of those, not one like you'd find at a department store or anything, but one you'd find in one of those old country stores, wide with stones) and even though it's empty (which you're used to because both parents have always worked since you've been alive, and it's normal) there's this sense of utter peace that comes floating down from somewhere and it's okay to stand in the driveway, look at the house, and shed a few tears because whatever has been bugging you the past couple of days, weeks, whatever, falls away and here nothing matters but family and being together again. It's a sense of being complete and those roots that you kinda sorta uprooted to move to a different place and try to be a more faceted person, you can replant those roots.
Things are different. There's no need to get up early in the morning, shower, and be out the door at a certain time so you're not late to someplace, no schedule to keep as you've been keeping, and the only thing you need be up early for is when the cat bellows from the floor at the head of the bed because she wants a drink of water from the tub. She will do this approximately four times, if you're not careful. The dog is probably either on the bed with mom, or in the hall closet, so the swishing sound is nothing new and is welcoming.
During the day, things are simpler. There is not rushing from A to B to C to B to D and wishing for coffee that you've given up for Lent. There is quiet, with the occasional passing car, the bus whistle what blows when the kids aren't at the bottom of the driveway, like they should be, and it's just the bare bones of what life is like for a kid who's grown up in the country and comes back whenever she can to affirm in her bones where's she from. Because it's such a part of who she is.
Heather spoke wonderful lines over at Madaline the Magnificent Mayhem Maker when she spoke of our backyard and I, for all that I write and that I craft with words and language, have nothing that can say it better than she can: To me it is one of the best views in the world. It's the view that I grew up with, the view that my sister grew up with. And the same view that my daughter gets to grow up with. This backyard - it calls to us - it gives us strength - it's our center and it is what keeps us grounded. The ground right now is saturated with the memories of my childhood, my sister's childhood.
It's simple. It's life. It's home. It's family. And it's everything that will ever matter no matter how far and wide this Sagittarius decides to wander. Eventually, even for just a little bit, she will wander back home to step out of the cold and rain, and smile because things are simpler here. No matter how much life gets complicated, this is home, and this is where things go to be simplified, loved, and put impressively into perspective. This is where my family is, and where I will always wander back to.
Far travel, very far travel, or travail, comes to almost the worth of staying home - Henry David Thoreau