I stand still in the hot sun that’s hitting my face; it’s warmth tinting my pale cheeks faint pink like the azalea petals lying crushed on the moss: a painter’s wet palette. The sun hits the remaining ice on the tips of the tree branches and slowly melts away all the pain and beauty of winter. The blossoms at my feet make me wonder what spring will break and I sigh with a contentedness that steals my fluttering mind. A butterfly glides past me. My entire life with the exception of two short years in Pilot Mountain before I could run and explore with my own direction have been spent in the city of Greensboro. My sense of place there was defined by my best friend on the other side of Holden road and fulfilling my book character childhood by living on Dogwood Drive with a yellow door. The simplicity was a facade though and the simmer of the pandemic was spent not trapped in my room like most but rather without one to call my own. My family needed more space and internalizing that as away from me, I moved in with my best friend spending weeks at the ocean and hammocking by the lake. Our summer days spent roaming around the neighborhood, tan legs swinging from the stonewall starting out at the swans. In a sense, not having a place was the most accepted I’ve ever felt. But the bliss would fade with the daylight hours and evolve into the consistency I didn’t know how much I craved.
Early August my family moved into our new little house on Oak Ridge Rd with my hesitance to embody our new communities’ rural roots and my desire to spread my branches to inhabit the spaces of my friends and new family I had found in the eno at Hamilton Lake. Today, as I reflect on the die-hardness of my anti-Trump, pro-education embodiment that I thought contradicted my new home, I now realize that open space is necessary to achieve an open mind. And while my family is still quick to spread our (how to say “hatred” nicely?) opinions on the former president, we now laugh at the fact our Biden sign got stolen. Twice. We now laugh at how close we were at convincing my mom we needed chickens. I look now into our grass speckled with dandelions and picture the little chicks cooing happily around the well. I picture my hound dog Beatrice chasing them. Okay fine maybe we don’t need them. But all of this to say I can now see my life shifting like the seasons I moved through within the big move. The change I loved to ignore has now become a change necessary to the fruitfulness of my spirit. A droplet of water falls on my head and I giggle, remembering my sister jumping in puddles the previous day in her hot pink Doc Martens.Her quick reply “Well what do you think rain is for?” I look into the cloudless sky and whisper a “thank you” to whoever is listening. My solitude now eases my mind and I pick up a lady bug crawling over my toe. A squirrel darting swiftly up the pine tree a few yards away interrupts my cliche moment of good luck and perhaps clarity, with a much appreciated reality check. But this new landscape I wake up to is my new reality. It is everything I never knew I needed.