Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Farewell to Summer

Leawood seemed a perfect place to walk tonight, this last night of August, when--even though the calendar says otherwise--I always feel the finality of summer. It is a neighborhood much like the one I grew up in, where the people seem to know each other, a man is always puttering around the garage while his wife tends to the flowerbeds that line the narrow sidewalks and some child or another rides a bike in endless circles in the driveway, their tires smoothing and softening the pavement as they go. It is a comfortable place, always somewhat nostalgic and sad, like something remembered rather than walked through, a place left behind, caught in the amber of time. Duncan loves it for its bunnies and for the sweet fragrance of barbeque. I love it because I sometimes imagine buying a house there, a small one with a nice yard where Dunc can run and chase squirrels as they dart across canopy of aspens, hiding among the palm-sized leaves of the towering cottonwoods. I would be happy there because it would be home.

For a long time I have felt homeless, without a place to call my own. Denver never seemed to be the place I belonged, but truthfully, I don't know if there is a place for me, other than memory and daydreams. But that's okay because as the sun sets on this day, as the cicadas fall silent and the crickets take their place, as the stars come alive in the emptiness of the evening sky, I feel at home with reflections of this summer, spent with an incredible man and an incredible dog at my side, playing at the river, taking long walks around the lake and through the park, driving to Idaho to climb the sage and juniper-covered hillside behind my mother's house, spending time with my family, laughing and talking, cooking great meals, rediscovering the art of adventure and togetherness. That is home and that is where I take my comfort as summer slips away and the cool nights of September blow through the window.

Where we love is home,
Home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.
(Oliver Wendell Holmes)

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