The wind is sighing through the trees, through my heart. I am alone in the dining room as everyone sleeps. The sun glows through promising clouds, but I cannot read the promise.
I am planning a trip to town for groceries and sundries. This is not simple - I must think of everything before I leave. 7 miles to the mainland, 25 miles to the store. My lists are detailed and compartmentalized by store name. Hardware, grocery, home goods, thrift.
These trips are joyful in their aloneness, and fraught with homesickness. I miss the checkout ladies - Donna and Mary especially - who have been helping me with groceries for longer than my children have been alive. I ache for the ease of a store just 10 minutes away. I long for stranger-smiles, which are not customary here. Instead my fellow shoppers glare at me with suspicion, and walk away from my assumed intimacy.
Out and back, just like at home but somehow totally different. I still am a stranger here, caught in a web of partial familiarity after 5 summers in 10 years. I know the roads and the stores, but I do not know the place.
In these summers I am a traveler, restless and rootless. This is not a bad thing. The experience makes me more flexible and adaptable. I certainly appreciate the luxury of my home, my life, far more when I return. My children are ineffably enlightened as well, and we all become closer. Most importantly, I get the chance to spend time with people I otherwise would never see. Still, these mornings when I go through my list a dozen times, I dream of home.