I woke this morning in a melancholy-tinged mood. There was a dream, I didn't remember details, only a girl's face, hair pale as a wan winter sun, and the feeling of displacement. No light peeked through the curtains, but the clock read 5:44, late for me. I half-dozed, trying to make sense of the girl's face, the feeling, and my head meandered to the meaning of home.
We have lived in this house almost eleven years, the longest place I have ever lived. Yet, I still feel an outcast in Maryland, not of this place. Although, if I am honest with myself, I never felt at home growing up in North Carolina and, when I returned to Massachusetts, felt I belonged in The South. Maryland seemed a good settling place, mid-way between North and South, a place to assauge my wishy-washy ways. A place equi-distant between our birth families.
This unsettled feeling likely stemmed from several sources. The turmoil of my husband's job, coupled with my own surging career restlessness. My upcoming 50th birthday and wondering whether there were enough nearby friends to warrant a party. The yearning for community and not finding it.
But then I see my children at their schools, interacting with their friends, building forts in the woods and joining in bar mitzvah and birthday celebrations. I see the trees in our yard bud forth, the narcissi poke green through the cracking earth, the robins scurry for grubs in the greening lawn. I have community, though in small pockets, here and there, real and virtual.
Then, I went to class, talked with my advisor, spoke with a few writers I am beginning to know better, slowly. We already 'get' each other; nobody but another writer understands the restlessness. The feeling of aloneness faded. Outside, the bright blue sky beckoned with promise, the same sky that would greet me here, there, anywhere.