My morning walks have been superb these past few days. Blame it on the weather, blame it on a different route. Blame it on me ignoring my phone and actually paying attention. Whatever has shifted has been a welcome shift. I immensely look forward to the hour (a whole hour!) in the AM when I can wander around side streets and sidestep the cracks and ants that litter my path.
Except it's not "my" path. I am still a foreigner here, an odd duck in a land of duck hunters. I like to imagine, though. I like to imagine when I am walking by houses with struggling flowerbeds and sleepy windows that this -- this home here -- is my home. This is where I come to each early evening, weary feet and hungry bones, and hang up my hat. And I literally hang up a hat because in my story I am some kind of an official, someone who is respected and honorable. Maybe I am a park ranger. That seems like the obvious choice. Or maybe, by an odd twist of fate, I am the police chief. I don't make arrests, however. I give out medals and sashes and pins and ribbons to citizens who rescue the dying honeybee I saw crawling on the path that is not my own. I reward those who forget themselves.
I don't think I have ever forgotten myself. In fact, I cling tightly, desperately to myself. I don't know if I have anything else to cling to but myself. No, I take that back. I have my walks, I have my adopted paths, I have my fantasies, and, perhaps most importantly, I have my hopes that one day these paths, these dreams, these struggling flowerbeds and sleepy windows will be home. My home.