We moved last weekend. We’ve now had five glorious days of being home.
Those days have included heavy manual labor (carrying our junk up two flights of stairs), puzzle-solving (where the hell does all the junk go?) and just for kicks, a puking episode (Lana, in her bed, in our bed, in our bed again) and yesterday afternoon, two large picture frames exploding extravagantly all over the dining room (note to self: do not put pictures on top of the sideboard, they fall off when someone - okay, Mihiretu- slams the front door) and, good god, no internet. Ben’s been away for three of those five days, usually a recipe for anxiety.
But through all of it, I’ve been outrageously happy. I’ve felt truly relaxed for the first time in a year. I'm no longer forming the question, where is home, where is home. Every time I venture out of the house, I see at least three people that I love. Not because I plan it (though sometimes I do) but often because they happen to be at the community pool or the park or the grocery store. I’m not moving in more than a two mile radius with the exception of trips out into rural West Marin for swim lessons and picnics. I'm surrounded by constant, exorbinant, natural beauty - regal oaks, fragile fawn, wild turkeys fanning their tails and gobbling ridiculously at six in the morning, sunsets over the tawny hills, birdsong. I'm, once again, mucking out the chicken coop in rubber boots, collecting still warm eggs and putting them right in the pan for breakfast. I'm riding my bike to the farmer's market, Mihiretu perched on the back, Mae burning rubber up ahead, Lana poking along behind. For me, this place is paradise. Yes, largely white, largely wealthy, pretty homogenous, but paradise all the same.
There are things about it, the entitlement mostly, that have always bothered me but for now, at least, I’m accepting those less appealing attributes like I try (and usually succeed) to accept Ben’s idiosyncrasies. The place is what it is, he is who he is, and I’ve got to love it (and him) completely. Because they’re mine. And because they’re unlike anything (or anyone) else on earth. When I complain about Ben's quirks - his tendency to procrastinate household projects or his bursts of often contradictory creative energy (“Let’s move to New Zealand, wait, let’s put a second level on our house”) or his flair for the dramatic (“We’re broke”, “We’re fucked”, or while trying to execute one of the aforementioned projects, “Fucking piece of shit!"), he informs me sweetly, "Honey, you’ve got to love it or leave it." I’m loving it. I'm loving him. I'm loving here.
I'm finally home.