I have always been a home-body. I am happiest at home and that’s all there is to it and I have a home that’s worth loving and easy to be happy with. It's almost 150 years old, built of the kind of wood you can’t find anymore, and my feet love its floors and my eyes love its lines and my soul loves its porches where I sit and ponder the ancient oak trees that certainly fulfill my need to be in the presence of something holy; something far older and bigger and more important than I am. I also have my yard and my garden and I like to walk the roads around the neighborhood and through the woods. I see deer and I’ve seen foxes, hawks, Mississippi Kites, rabbits, snakes, and possums.
I like my neighbors, the ones I know and the ones I just sort of recognize. We all smile and wave here, in this little village. Smile and wave and say a “how-you-doin’?” “Good, me too.”
Really, this is just about all I need for entertainment and lately, it’s been harder and harder to leave home and go out into the world. Sometimes when I do go out, I get a little anxious, wishing I could be back home, surrounded by the things I love. Of course, I still do go out into the world. I shop, I go to parties occasionally, I meet my kids for lunch, I go out to supper with my husband, I go to yoga, I go to the library.
But I'm just so content, right here, that I’ve been wondering if I’m suffering from a sort of agoraphobia or if I’ve just become enlightened and realize that everything I need is truly right here at home.
I don’t know. Have I allowed my life to get too small, too bordered by my walls, too protected by my trees? I think life is all about balance and I don’t want to get too out of whack. I don’t want to be that crazy old woman who never leaves her property. I want to see friends and be in plays and go visit Wakulla Springs and Dog Island, and maybe go shoot pool with my kids or at least play the jukebox and drink a beer while they shoot pool.
And I’d like to visit other countries and other cities with my husband. We’ve had those dreams for a long time and I need to hold on to them.
But Lord, it’s hard for me to leave this place. I sit on the porch and listen to the wind in the pecan trees and the owl hoots from somewhere in the yard of the church next door and I'm just so happy.
I guess the best thing is to go off once in a while, to have adventures in strange and beautiful places, to meet new and interesting people, then come home again where I am most comfortable, where the spirits of all the people who have lived here keep me company as I go about the life I've made here.
There's nothing wrong with that. I just have to remember that the going away makes the coming back even more precious.
And then go.
So I can come home again.