Today was a day off to do what I do best. I changed to roaming clothes and walked barely any distance, just up the little unsubdivided, wooden knoll behind my house. The week’s rain had ceased and the now dry leaves well shielded the still damp ground. A February sun’s warmth began to bear down on my dark blue running pants, welcoming me to sit and stay. I lay back and let my hood frame the nearly still lifes above. Young white oaks stretched their arms in unison, their southern sides iced by the early afternoon light. Alabama February sometimes snows, but usually teases of Spring’s soon coming.
The sky was nearly Carolina Blue and cloudless, I tried to take in the subtle shiftings of the naked and slightly blushing arms and torsos. My ears cleared and heard anew the background of my life when I was little: a distant woodpecker’s buzz, dogs barking behind the hill, a train on around its intersection with our nearby roads. Birds chirped and darted and the winds stirred the leaves lazily, the way I do a simmering pot of stock.
The sun bore on into me. It seemed warmer still, when I let myself feel deeply only such. As I warmed, I made myself feel the earth beneath my back, cool, and I was again, made comfortable, the way a foot stretched out from under the covers seems to solve the problem.
And as I relaxed and lay quiet, heard the faint sounds of soon coming spring, and I was home. Not a door frame nor desk, not a property line nor place at the table, home for me is a sense of stillness and subtle sounds. Home is the whisper of a wood, the patter of a pond, the taste of a tender field. I cannot often journey to those places where home and I have tabernacled before, but it is joy to know that home is also…just up the little wooded hill, on a blanket of long layered leaves.