‘My head hurt. It just did. I wanted to go home, where I knew how my life was supposed to go from moment to moment. BUT—- there seem to be no way to go back, back to familiar rules, predictable behavior or even the sense that the solid, stable environment would be there. Boring, only changing a little .’ There were arguments and charges and counter charges. People rolled their eyes, shook their heads and exclaimed “there they go again. Never can agree on things, “– People traded this proposal for that proposal. The waters underneath just keep on flowing as if the waves on stop had never stirred up the waters nor broke against the rocks.’
I scrunched up my shoulders for the eleventyith time . I shook my head.”ow” Is eleventyth time even a word? I looked around for a dictionary or the old set of encyclopedias we had grown up with on the shelf or the kitchen table. Anytime, there was a question or a point of challenge in my parents’ household. The sentence was to go and find the answer in one of the books in the other room. Preferably , some kernel WE had found for ourselves( first sources, preferred although the Encyclopedia was also acceptable for quick source.) shortcuts were only acceptable if the discussion was becoming heated and the dispute needed to be defused.
There was not anything like a book shelf or large, solid leather bound goliath of books. My dad seemed to prefer those older paper smell volumes. The res of us preferred smaller, lighter and just as informative paperbacks. books were the balm to almost anything , a tranquilizer ( especially for my high energy mother) to stop the day and it’s assorted requirements , no matter the age in the house. Even my dog seem to chill out when someone was reading near by, she was a pretty easy going gal anyway. The only time she got in a frenzy was when anyone walked up to the front of the house. It didn’t matter who it was, my brother or the delivery man or even the next door neighbor. I put my head down and loses my eyes. I tried very hard to hear her barking or sniffing for me. She would have her black curly fur close to the floor and her long ears dragging through the dust as she sniffed out her line of inquiry. “Neither rain, snow or gloom of night could keep Suzie from her appointed quest”. I could see her sacked out on the end of the couch ,four black legs jutted out across the wide part of the cushion. Her long smooth nose quivering as she breathed out in gusts while she slept. I wonder what color of ribbon , the groomer put on her now?
I sat up and stood up , I suddenly wanted to get out, go somewhere, get some sunshine. I looked out the glass doors framing the opposite wall . I opened the door and quickly shut it. I looked around for a jacket and saw a navy blue windbreaker laying on a chair across the room by the desk. I darted over and snagged it. It was long , floppy and felt a bit like a sail, but it would do against the wind. The trees were shushing and tingling like a lot of coins being poured into a glass dish. I rounded the corner of the wall.
In front of me was a delicate garden with flowers in rocked off rectangles, circle and gravel paths that looked like they had come out of a fairy tale book, a English garden or a colonial garden in old Williamsburg. There were some plots where the plants were all tangled up together and I couldn’t tell if there were several similar plants or just one straggling , untrained vine, growing in a wild mess. There was the bed where tiny , little white and purple flowers looked too timid to take up much room in the dirt circled out.
Many of the plants were dark green and tinged with brown or silver pieces . No bright colors like near the door . The grounds were carved out in a bit of a pattern but not planned or stiff. There were weeds in most of the plants and nothing pruned. Still , the whole area looked tailored and very well kept. The trees were set to frame the whole area. The skinny , barely thick enough trunks and the arm’s width limbs seem rather too small for the importance of their appointed guardian positions. The yellowing and pale green meadow beyond the u-shape house stretched to the edge of the dark, formidable stand of dense foliage on the edge of the property ? The sky looked slightly purple and gray , though there was a lot of white sunshine shining through the cloud cover. I guess, it was later than it had seemed, maybe that was why I was feeling , particularly gloomy.
I shook my head, I knew that wasn’t it . I was HOMESICK. I wanted familiarity and not be so- o baffled and confused. I was tired of not making sense. No, I breathed. I was tired of being in uncharted situations. I stretched my neck and my arms. I shook my legs and my body until I rattled like a skeleton . I walked out in the grasses and laid down , doing stretches and yoga moves like I had been learning attending classes with Mom and her best friend, Laurie. I felt much better. I got up and started jogging first to the edge of the garden walk and then thirty or so one steps out, left turn , right turn and right turn and back to the garden edge. I lost count of the number of times or even the number of turns . It just felt good to lose my self in the air and the sky and the whisper of the trees , keeping me company on my journey. A journey that wasn’t scary or confusing because I could always predict that I would end up at the edge the familiar garden walk. Reaching the edge of the garden walk , I stumbled and fell to my knees on the gravel. My knees stung and my hand felt sore where the pebbles had dug in but I wasn’t broken.
Still, I looked around at the walls which were dark green and the flowers which I didn’t recognize and I was frightened to my lungs and my heart. I felt like I was completely incapable of taking care of or having enough of anything; clothes , first aid,food or even the wits to make the money to survive. Everything made fear grow large and overwhelming and I froze. I could breathe but that was all. What if I had knocked myself out?. What if I had broken my hand? As childish as it sounds , I started crying and fear grew because I didn’t have my mother to protect me or scold me , I didn’t have my dog to hold on to , I didn’t have my sister or my friends to talk to me and help me up. Or my Dad to check me over and bandage my knee , telling me to be more careful and that I really wasn’t that hurt. I would just be sore and I needed to go help my sister with getting ready for — whatever we were going to be doing. I suddenly wanted to be on my couch with my furry blanket and my warm, soft cushions that would padded my sores and enclosed me so that I would have a place to hide.