We drove past the old house recently. It was the first time I'd seen it since we'd left in mid August. There was a rental sign on the lawn, which had been mown. It looked neat and clean and empty.
I remembered the view from the kitchen sink and opening the French doors to the pool every morning, to look at the sky through the trees and the way the roar of the traffic on the highway grew louder as the leaves fell each autumn.
The first day we were there, there was no furniture but the pale yellow walls caught the spring light. I sat down on the rug in the empty living room and wrote in my netbook. The pool was a slimy green mess and Abby fell in, trying to sniff something. We slept on the slowly deflating air mattress and had cold cereal and strawberries for breakfast.
I miss it; I knew I would. I went through too much there. This time of year, I often think back to that first autumn when my spirit was lit up inside with God.
Yesterday I took Meri to the park. I've been thinking of doing that for a while. The leaves were dusting the road as I drove there, past our old housing development.
The sound of the wind was all through the trees as I pushed the stroller. Meri's eyes were wide, looking from side to side, listening.
It was exhilarating, walking there again. It seemed like forever but I think it was only a few months. Meri got fussy on the way back, so I stopped and picked her up.
We'd gotten out of the house in such a hurry- I'd feared that if we paused, we'd never have the guts to actually get out at all- that she was still wearing her teddy bear pjs.
We walked down the stone steps to the slow moving stream, murky green and clotted with yellow leaves. The grass was still green and most of the trees as well. If it wasn't for the brisk wind, it would have been uncomfortably warm in the sunlight, but we were tucked under the shade.
"This is the outside," I told Meri, as she looked around, quiet now that she was being held. "It's very nice outside."
Of course, we've been outside before. I take her for walks around the housing development, but it's still under construction and none of the trees are large enough to cast any shade over the road.
Most of all, the entire road is overlooked by house after house after well-groomed and landscaped house. This might not bother me so much, except the only way I manage to get out of the house is to dart out of it like an escapee from an asylum, in smeary shirt and fly away hair and darkly circled eyes.
I never have time to pull myself together. Meri gives me about two minutes of free time every three hours, unless she is napping and she naps in my arms, which is not convenient for doing anything but watching television. If I get any free time at all, I am frantically running around doing things like brushing my teeth and drinking coffee that's gone cold.
In point of fact, I have written this blog in two minute segments stolen during the past three days, but I am just happy that I have written anything at all. And that my teeth are brushed.
Come to think of it, I better post this right now; who knows when I'll get another chance.