Home, let me come Home
Home is Whenever I'm with You
Home, yes I am Home
Home is Wherever I'm with You

-Home by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

This weekend I went "home". Omaha, Nebraska. My Mom's house. Up a gravel road called Cardinal Court. My childhood home. Where I go to shake off the city, rejuvenate and strengthen my base in order to head back to the grind. My old room is quiet, peaceful, filled with sunlight and surrounded by woods. Sounds of birds and dogs and cats and cows and roosters and chickens and owls and an occasional far off airplane. It is my sanctuary, my escape. Inhale a deep fresh breath of air and revel in the open space.

This trip was to say goodbye. My Mom is selling the house. (She's moving in with her wonderful new husband which I'm very happy about!) It's taken me awhile to wrap my head around this. When I left for the airport, closing the front door and looking back, I realized it was the last time I will have set foot in that home. I know it's only a house but it feels like a death in the family. Goodbye house. Goodbye home. Goodbye room.

Someone else had to say goodbye too. It was the first night I was home and I lay down to sweet dreams in my old comfy bed in my old room. I awoke that next morning before sunrise. I didn't wake naturally. I was startled awake by a noise. There he was... a beautiful and bright vibrant red cardinal! Flying and pecking at my bedroom window! I lay in bed for awhile and watched him fly back and forth from a tree branch to my window. He did this for almost an hour! I couldn't help but think he must be tired and hope he's not hurting himself. I thought I must be dreaming.

That was the only morning he came to my window. Of all the years that I had lived and slept and breathed and dreamed in that room never once did I have a cardinal come say hello/goodbye to me at my bedroom window. His true goodbye was when I was packing to leave. He wouldn't leave my window. Flying up and down, back and forth. He brought tears to my eyes. He knew. Goodbye Nicole. And as I type this now here in my apartment in Brooklyn, New York I look out my window and see a cardinal in the tree. Hello cardinal. Did you follow me home?

I did not want to live out my life in the strenuous effort to hold a ghost world together. It was plain as the stars that time herself moved in grand tidal sweeps rather than the tick-tocks we suffocate within, and that I must reshape myself to fully inhabit the Earth rather than dawdle in the sump of my foibles.

-excerpt from Julip by Jim Harrison

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