Traveling is an odd thing. I bring myself with me wherever I go, but I don’t always feel like myself. I am still tethered to my home, feel its tug. I am tied to who I’ve left behind there. My cats occupy my space, glaring in their absence, a small prickle or a larger ache. Even when I go where I am known, even loved, I carry their absence, feel the tug of my tether. I am missing bits of my self, the one I have grown comfortable with over time, quiet mornings on the patio, the solar Christmas lights a happy glow on the hedge when I walk home in the new dark after dusk.
The birds here are not my birds. But when I reach in, find my way to fullness on the deck of this other home, their unfamiliar calls comfort me, companions in the quiet autumn morning. They tie me to my world, tingle my self, charm me silly. I feel the sun on my forehead, my ankles, my cheek wet from dog kisses. The house is waking up around me, and my eyes fill with warm tears, my breath deep and grateful in my lungs.