Before sunrise, a cat walks down the hallway crying as if his heart is broken. Softly I make two “kiss kiss” sounds and he jumps over the gate we’ve erected to keep cats out of our bedroom. He crosses the room, jumps onto my side of the bed and curls up inside the C shape I’m making, curled on my side. The purring lulls us to sleep until the sun rises and my alarm goes off. Usually the dog whimpers outside the gate five minutes before the alarm, but her system has finally adjusted to our vacation schedule that ended yesterday. She is snoring on the couch.
This moment of peace and snoring is like honey on my tongue. The animals, my husband, and me, all in our tender melty places of sleepiness, reunited after a week. The band is back together and the rhythm feels right. And back to work I go, just when I found out I could live without it.
I carry rocks and glass balls, symbols of my time away. I bring stories of rivers flowing into oceans, of cliffs breaking away to become smooth, palm-sized river rocks, of fishermen who use glass balls to mark their nets, to float on the water’s surface where they will pull their harvest, breathless from ocean to boat for our dinner, suffocation the cost, but that isn’t the story I bring.
I tell of boats and tides, ravens and black cliffs, and disconnection that brings connection. I tell tales of seven sweet days that hope to feed the next 150, like the fish and bread that fed multitudes.