It is just before seven on a sticky Gulf Coast morning, My dear friends' teenage son has just piled Tupperware full of Easter leftovers into his groaning backpack and waved a quick goodbye, out the door with his dad into the windy early light. The kitchen table bears my breakfast, the missed native pleasures of brewed coffee and peanut butter toast. I sit in this familiar chair, my quilt on my bed upstairs in their guest room, a whole life still available and vibrant. Nothing stopped while we were away, we step back onto this moving band effortlessly through the open door of our friends' grace.
I doubt there will be another chance for me to write this week given the pressures of both work and social schedules, so this is it, the coffee in the favorite cup, the heavy air outside the cool window, the cat walking across the piano keys. I shiver in the air conditioning and bristle at the freeway, my ears rejoice in remembered rhythms and I rush into long-awaited embraces. Home, still, never, and always.