The boxes are all unpacked, there are curtains on the windows and even pictures on the walls. I have a fair idea of where everything is although each and every closet will have to be emptied and rearranged before everything fits where it's supposed to fit. From the looks of things, I was not as ruthless with my last round of downsizing as I thought, and more will have to be done. My tiny apartment may be short on storage, but the view from the huge window over my desk is worth a wall full of closets. For the two weeks that I have been here, we have been blessed with beautiful and unusually warm weather. I have gone on walks around the neighborhood, paid a visit to my favorite bookstore, and finally made it to the Cider Mill for fresh pressed apple cider, homemade donuts and the best jellies and jams you ever tasted. Today the snow has finally arrived along with some pretty gusty winds, and although the leaves will be gone when all is said and done, even the snow on the hills in the distance is picture perfect. There's no place like home.
I feel like Dorothy must have felt when she clicked her heels and closed her eyes, only to open them to find herself in her own room, with her own curtains, and her own bed, and knew at once that she was home. There is something about this place, tiny though it is, that feels like a perfect fit. My two years in the country, which I now think of as a time of healing and rebirth, was, for all of it's joys and beauty, not truly home as much as I wanted it to be. The moment I walked into this apartment when I saw it for the first time, I knew from the top of my head to the tips of my toes that this is what home was supposed to feel like.
Today while the snow is falling and the wind is howling outside, I have a pot of spaghetti sauce with mushrooms and basil from my garden bubbling on the stove. In a place this small, the smells fill every nook and cranny, and that is completely ok. Having been raised by a wonderful Italian cook, if your home doesn't smell like garlic, tomatoes and basil on a Sunday, there is something seriously wrong. My kitties, who have taken to this place like fish to water, are sound asleep on their favorite blankets while New Age music plays in the background. I'm about to open the new book that came in the mail from Amazon (Natalie Goldberg's The Great Spring, about what writing has meant to her over the last 45 years), and give it a read until kickoff at 1:00 - after all, it is Sunday in November which means football. Could anything be better than this?
There's no place like home.
And so it is.