Last night I got to leave the apartment by myself for the third time (yes, I really am counting). After dinner I slipped out to make a quick run to the health food store for some immune system help, since my throat is feeling worse than ever. It feels like a different city when I'm alone--it literally looks different, and I walk down the street with my head panning from side to side, trying to reorient myself. When I'm with the girls, it feels more like an obstacle course to maneuver in a strange game, like the one that was on Nickelodeon when I was a kid with all that green slime. Like someone says, "Here, buckle this baby pack around your waist, push this squirrelly girl in a stroller and find good lettuce . . . Go!"
But when I'm alone the city around me is simply a new garden I've been transplanted into; and all that's required of me is to have a look around, relax my roots a bit into the soil, and thrive. My lungs fill all the way up when I inhale and my posture tries to adjust to walking without all the extra weight. My destinations seem close to home and I don't even notice uphill or downhill slopes.
Today we'll be finishing taxes (I hope) and getting ready for our first round of company. We'll probably mail a bunch of stuff, too. When I'm out I am going to do a little experiment and see if I can sense just a whiff of that garden when I have the girls with me, to see if I can relax out there with them, just a little bit.