Sunday, January 6, 2008

Reality setting in

I gaze in disbelief at the yard behind my house; can it be the same welcoming spot where the kid and I played just months ago? Is that his little plastic cottage, sitting forlorn by the fence? It seems a separate world now, an uninviting and muddy spot where snow and dead grass intermingle like grim, grumpy colleagues.

I cannot believe that we ever sat at that cold, sodden picnic table and ate sunny meals. Nor can I fathom that the same patio is, indeed, attached to our home. My wonderful covered patio, where so many hours were passed drinking cold drinks, eating grilled food, and watching the boy splash, play with cars, sketch with sidewalk chalk. Now the concrete slab sits, chilly, barren, stony. Its cushion-less seats are piled high atop the old metal glider in storage mode; they create an awkward tower commemorating summer and its glistening joys—joys now lost in frigid breezes.

It can’t be the same place. Somehow, in some inexplicable way, our home has been transported to a cruel and unforgiving climate, a place where all that was green is brown, and even sunshine passes through a warmth-sucking filter.

I have a friend who moved to Phoenix. When she did, I quietly questioned her sanity. Now, I ponder her decision with some envy. Dry, sunny world, with deserts and cacti: you are calling to me, enticing me in a way that frozen puddles never will.

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