A cricket chirps outside my window. Cars splash down the road and into a damp evening. I remember this season: the anticipation, the spinning task list, the calm before the storm.
But I am not the same girl who weathered the storms of previous years. This year is new because this place is not new. Because for the first time in our marriage, we did not move. We were the ones who stayed.
Who got the beach pass.
The CSA share.
Who packed picnics instead of boxes.
My heart says we could live here forever, but my head knows the likelihood is thin.
So, how much longer?
And then, should the answer really matter?
We are here. Here is the only place we can be. I cannot be in Europe. I cannot be in graduate school. I cannot be a mother, a local girl, a perfect human. Not now.
These are the things I must forgive myself of every day. I accept again every day that I am here, with the crickets and the clean office, and that is somehow and quite mysteriously enough.