Shirts tossed on a chair, shoes kicked off in the corner over there. Signs that Beloved is home, somewhere and everywhere. Signs that when I walk further into the house he will be there, and not just when I close my eyes, but when the sunrise comes back to coax me into another morning, signs that are the reality that Beloved is home again.
I can feel it before I see those signs in the house. The house seems different even from the outside, as though it has shaken some dust off of itself in a way to prepare for his arrival. I can hear it as I come up the sidewalk, open windows letting soft music join in dancing with the breeze.
And I give pause before I search him out. He is back home yes. In my house, my world and my routine; he is the one intruding this time, not I. I give pause knowing that his being here means changes again. Yes food lovingly prepared and ready for when I get home. And a clean house during the week, not waiting for me to get to it on the weekend as is the usual case. It also means a different set of noises and routines must be given space to take place. For he sings a different song, dances to a different beat and takes up his own space regardless of who owns the place.
Not that I am complaining, not in the least for if I wasn’t happy he wouldn’t be here. The door would not yield to his hand, to his turn of the key. But I must pause and take in what is about to happen so that I can move things around in my life to accommodate his sudden descent into my every day routine. And I must pause as well to see what changes have come with him as he opened the door to the house this time. Will there be something haunting in his eyes, deeper lines cutting across his face or will there be only laughter and smiles to carry us through?
The music tells me the room he has at least been in. The smell of food holds a promise of a wonderful meal. And the soft, gentle way he sets aside the book tells me that there is no surprise, nothing to worry about this time. He is whole and well and has come because he can, not because he must. He promises to put away his unpacking and tidy up his shoes later on, once he has managed to make it his home again as well. His home and our routine again.