Back in Durham for my last month as a single woman, I am being hosted by my teaching partner Rita, her husband Dave, and their nephew Greg. Rita and Dave I knew I would love living with, and Greg has been a delightful surprise. He's a college sophomore and it's like having the little brother I always wanted. He picks on me as soon as I walk through the door, asks my opinion on music, has loaded the lastest good stuff on my new IPod, and is constantly peering over my shoulder in an ongoing competition to see who can finish the crossword or sudoku puzzle first. Together with Oliver the dog, we are quite the happy little summer family.
Rita and Dave live in a lovely old historic neighborhood that goes by the name of Hope Valley in a darling house. There is a golf course winding all through the neighborhood and so there are winding roads as well. Tonight was one of those nights, as in the past, where the summer twilight called and I simply had to answer. And so I went for an evening ramble in the North Carolina dusky heat.
I was keenly aware as I walked that the sight of elm, oak, tall pine, and maple against a Carolina blue sky will be in short supply after I move to the Lone Star state. So I made up my mind to look up, still being watchful of the occasional car mind you, and soak in that familiar and soothing view. Coming up around a curve and to the golf course, I had a perfect view to the west of the setting sun. As always, I stopped and looked as far as I could, knowing that My Love was in that direction this evening, enjoying the company of good friends who will soon be my friends too I hope. This has been a season of chasing sunsets for me but I thought about the fact that I may spend more time in the next few years looking to the east, to the sunrise, knowing that my friends and family are there, already about the business of their day.
I continued on, enjoying the aimless wandering of my ramble and simply walking in the direction that seemed most winding and held the most alluring of evening light. The smell of fresh, moist grass on the rolling course reminded me of hot, damp August evenings back in high school where I cheered on a Mount Tabor football or soccer team on our carefully tended green field. I thought about those days long gone by, dreams that are now coming true, wedding plans still to make, thoughts of a new home awaiting me. Because of a most useful splurge on my new IPod Nano, I had my own soundrack to the ramble. Coldplay, the Dixie Chicks, Kelly Clarkson, Keane, Reese Witherspoon, Dave Matthews- their voices one after the other perfectly expressing some unspoken emotion of that walk...
"I come to find a refuge in the easy silence that you make for me, it's okay when there's nothing more for you to say to me, and the peaceful quiet you create for me, and the way you keep the world at bay for me, the way you keep the world at bay..."
"I came here with a load, and it feels so much lighter now I met you, and honey you should know, that I could never go on without you..."
"I'll spread my wings and I'll learn how to fly, though it's not easy to tell you goodbye, gotta take a risk, make a change, and breakaway..."
Dave Matthew's Band, "Crash Into Me" (for those of you familiar with the tune) brought a sly grin to my face as I pondered a honeymoon still to come. And as I wound down for the night and neared Rita and Dave's once again, I breathed deeply and savored the flavor of home and comfort and new adventures just lingering in front of me.