After groggily dragging myself to work coughing, and hacking for three days, I decided that today I would give up and stay home. Here, it feels like the most southern of southern days. I wish I could describe what I mean or capture it in a picture, but it would be impossible. The curtains are billowing, and the rain steadily beating down, and there is greenness pouring in at all the windows. Every year about this time the grass wages a war on my husband and more or less defeats him. He can spend hours and hours and hours on the riding mower, and then the rains come down and grass grows up, and up, and up, and more than obliterates everything he has accomplished. Everything in the yard looks wild and scraggly and determined in its effort to grow as fast as it can in every direction.
As I pad through the house barefoot in a cotton dress, I feel somehow connected to the woman who lived here a hundred years ago. The woman whose husband built my home. She had a cistern where I have my back porch, and a smithy on the other side of the driveway, and raised 12 kids who slept in the loft that has become my attic. By our standards, she must have had a hard life, but she lived her life here, in our home, and she knew this land in a way that I never will. She didn't have to jump in the car every morning and drive for an hour to live her life someplace else.
Sitting here, alone, on this day stolen from my day-to-day life, I yearn to stay here, to stay at home. I want to get up every morning thinking about what I am going to do in my house and my yard, and the rest that I will take here in the still evening. I want to be able to pray without watching the clock and have time to sit and listen to the birdsong in the morning, when it begins with a few scattered notes and builds to a great crescendo. I hope that this will happen some day before I'm too much older, but for now, it doesn't seem to be possible. I think there are other things that I'm supposed to be doing. I hope that I can learn with St. Paul to be content in any and situation, and for the most part, I'm happy with my job, but still, whenever I think on whatever is true, honorable, pure, lovely, and gracious, I think about being at home.