Three days away from it all means a lot, especially when the “all” feels, at times, like a constant swirl of worries — finding and keeping freelance work, partially supporting a husband through a PhD program, noticing that the neighbor’s flowers are still blooming while mine have dried up, wondering if a product called “Nature’s Miracle” will rid my home office of the smell left behind by our one neurotic cat.
Our three days were spent by the impossibly warm, sparkling turquoise sea in Bermuda, watching the tide roll in and out on a pristine beach, noticing a school of fish that seemed to swim in circles before leaping briefly into the air as one. At night we sat out on our balcony, high on the terraced, rocky hillside overlooking the sea, and stared up at the stars. The sound of tree frogs singing and peeping all around us lulled me to sleep.
I wrote just once, early one morning. I unpacked a pen and the old-fashioned, black and white Mead notebook I’d brought along, and brought them out to the balcony. Every now and then, while I was writing, the warm breeze kicked up a notch and I suddenly detected the slight smell of urine. I wondered where, at the impeccably clean beach club where we were staying, on the beautifully manicured grounds among the lush green grass, palm trees and fragrant amarylis, the smell could be coming from. After being mystified for a while, I looked more carefully at my notebook and noticed a small stain at the bottom of the spine. A quick sniff solved the mystery. The neurotic cat, at some point before I left town, had let his dissatisfaction be known on my notebook.
Wherever you go, home follows you.