I can't get over how green and warm it is here. Spring always sneaks up on me; one morning I am greeting bare branches out our window, the next it's buds, then the sun comes up again and we are saying good morning to the canopy of leaves.
(In case you are wondering, yes, Liam and I wake up in the morning, open the blinds and say good morning to what we see outside. Trees are always first. Liam really likes doing this.)
I am in love with my Twin Cities right now. They are in this perfect state of green and flowery bursts, welcomed-back birds, fluffy clouds and ideal temperatures. Lawns are magnificent because it's early in the season and no one is tired of landscaping yet. Swollen with nourishment from the melted and forgotten snow, the blades of grass are everything. They are glowing.
Sure, I'd love to live closer to the Atlantic. I have those salty waters in my blood. Sure, I'd love the quiet bustle of Portland. I have those streets mapped in my heart.
But these little city streets are the city streets of my childhood and teen years. I learned how to drive on these streets. I found my first tastes of freedom on them. Laurel and I drove these streets on sticky summertime nights with self-defining music playing, our hair floating in the wind from the open windows. The people on our mix tapes were singing to us and telling us where to go. We squeezed each other's hands across the center console and drove to cemeteries and gas stations and empty parking lots.
I'm from here. I didn't necessarily want to come back here to live because it felt like I'd be moving backwards. I'd already jumped forward to new cities and new jobs and a marriage and a baby. I felt like I'd be having to start over. Retracing steps, watching repeats.
I'm here though. And I'm not- I'm not starting over. I'm just starting again. It's ok that I am here. The ghosts of Laurel and I still linger, the music echoing tinnily like an old movie. But there's new traffic lights and the grass is green and there's my new life.
This is Liam's beginning and it's not in Portland; it's where I had my beginning.
And I know he'll someday appreciate that.