We are home. Suitcases, boxes, sneakers cover every surface.
The air is cool, damp even, and I tend to move about with a sweater on my shoulders. Even so, I have just about every window in the house open at least a quarter way. The air is clear and smells so fresh I wish I could bottle it.
We had thunder and lightning the day we arrived, and then the next day too. It reminded me of the man-made thunder and rain storms at Wild Wadi in Dubai except that it was God-made, the real thing. The first day back, I stepped out of the car and into a large puddle - my foot and shoe immediately soaking - and was hit with the reality of being in New Hampshire.
I revel in the coolness and greenness of my surroundings - the grass, the trees, even the large, lettuce-like leaves on a pot of pale pink gerbera daisies that a friend brought over. Before we arrived, another friend bought us groceries and left yellow cala lilies in a pot on the kitchen counter. My tenants left two pots of African violets, too. Of course I'm delighted with all.
The shrubs I planted over the years around the house - holly, yews, rhododendrons, and azaleas - have grown so much in my absence. Like children I haven't seen for a time, they have shot up while my back was turned.
One disappointment was that two yews (evergreen trees) I'd been watching grow into tall, column-shaped shrubs on the far left corner of the house are now bare to their trunks. They've been eaten to their cores, like apples, by deer.
The natural pull towards friends and away from unpacking is taking place amongst all of us. We are still trying to find the balance.