Mapping home / by Christina Rosalie

It’s been a busy week: tumbling through these strange days of weaning, unpacking, and packing all over again for vacation. The fact that I’m not necessarily an organized person flares up in times like these, and I find myself circling the house every morning looking for my hairbrush, or trying yet again to remember the last of ten items on one of my many mental lists. But despite the small specks of chaos that continue to dance over the surface of my days, things are falling into place, and home has begun feeling like just that. Home. I’ve had the hankering to cook here: grilled tuna and couscous salad, vanilla waffles, banana scones, barbecued chicken and corn on the cob, hearty soups. I love sliding pots over the smooth soapstone of our counters, and finding knives and measuring spoons just where they should be.

Every day Bean, DH and I go for ambling walks: imprinting the geography of our land onto our souls. Learning by heart the location of the many apple trees, the small creeks, and the thick carpet of wild strawberries in the high meadow at the back of our land. We visit the sheep and donkeys down the road; walk through chest high grasses and daisies to a thicket of blackberries, just starting to swell and ripen; or sit out on the newly mown lawn in the evening to watch the bats zip about, backlit by a pastel sky.

My heart has been longing for this kind of solace: for this connection to a place. This sense of belonging. And now I drink it up daily, gulping with a certain disbelief. Eager at once to know everything about this place, and to never be done exploring.

From the driveway, the moon looked like a chip from a teacup wedged into the piece of sky between the V of our roof last night, and across the meadow and along the tree line, fireflies were blinking like a hundred small stars in a universe of grass. And when we went to bed—DH and I pressing into each other, reacclimating to being just us in bed, coyotes started to howl, high-pitched and wild, from the nearby wood.