It seems a little strange to think that it’s August now. The weather has been so funny all summer that just a few days ago, I would have sworn it was a late September day – perfectly warm at the height of the afternoon without being humid, but cool as the evening approached, a light breeze ruffling the leaves on the trees.
We spent last weekend in Mansfield, camped out in John’s parents’ yard. It’s the closest we really get to camping right now, and this past weekend, we brought Lucy. (This was a mistake. But probably one we had to make in order to really know for sure that Lucy and Mansfield/camping don’t really mix). The sky at night was full of twinkling stars, the air crisp as we cuddled under blankets in our tent. Just me, and John and our little fur-creature, together under the night sky. It was sort of wonderful.
July has been a funny month for us personally. John began his new job at the end of June, so July has been an exercise in new normals. How our days work, how our life is crafted. When we moved into our house, a little over two years ago, we both worked outside of Chester County. We both spent an amazing amount of time commuting. Now, we are both home every day, enjoying our home, and enjoying our life out in the countryside of Southeastern Pennsylvania. The transition hasn’t always been easy — there have been bumps and confusion. But we have seen both our families more this year, enjoyed each other’s company more, and been able to devote time to our friends and our hobbies, without the endless fatigue of a commuter’s life.
Last night, as Lucy and I walked along the mowed paths between high grass up on the hill behind our development, the sun sinking slowly in the sky and coloring the horizon with fire orange and blazing pink and violet-purple, I knew something inherently, at the very core of my soul.
I am at peace.
Everything that John and I have done to this point, to get us here, has been worth it. But nothing is forever. And leaving toxic environments and allowing ourselves to focus on what truly matters to us has been liberating. Terrifying, yes. But also joyous. There is a unique power and confidence that having a partner and a small family unit provide, that may explain mankind’s tendency to couple up and procreate across the centuries. But it is truer than true, the idea of feeling settled, of feeling heard and understood.
To watch Lucy chase butterflies and sprint the length of her leash in multiple directions, with what can only be described as a doggy smile as the warm evening breeze touched my face and swayed the grasses surrounding us — the sky a myriad of indescribable color — John’s warm steadiness beside me. I knew more than I’d ever known before, that I’d made the right choices, I was with the right souls, and anything was possible.