I return home to my parents. I grill swordfish on Tuesday night and suggest a Wednesday museum outing. We resume our routines.
My parents view time differently than I do. In spite of their advanced age, little happens here in a hurry. Days come and leisurely days go. Highlights include a repair to the outside phone line, a new bird at the feeder, or a book club meeting. Weekdays feel like weekends. Every day is Sunday. My parents do not race about.
Yet I count only six mor dwindling days remaining at home. When I depart west, I do not plan to return for years, and that return may be prompted by change and heartache. Time here now is quite scarce and precious. My parents may take for granted my comings and goings. Mother calls my stay “a vacation.”
I seek closure to my visit home, some sign or gesture that I was here and made a difference. I want Hollywood music, a poignant script, and sunset lighting.
Connectedness at home does not happen by momentous leaps but rather by the slow accretion of living next to each other. Our family does not do trust falls and team-building exercises in the woods. We do not even talk much about the particulars of life. Instead, we notice what each other eats, we follow the rhythms of each other’s day, and we hope that is enough.
Soon enough, I’ll break down my childhood bedroom and pack up my car. I’m moving out, physically and psychologically.