The past weeks have raced by with celebrations, earnest conversations, shared meals, embraces. I was a scrawny, fort-building, bookish nine-year old when I moved here. My life unfolded. Roots grew deep in this warm community.

Today, we pack and re-pack the car, determined to squeeze all my worldly possessions into a small Honda Accord. We go swimming. I write a few notes, talk to an insurance agent.

I walk outside to cut some chives for dinner. A million shades of green thrill the eye: mint, sedum, fern, peony, spider plant, jade, lilac, boxwood. A few white daisies spot the hillside. Black-eyed susans sway in the green tangle by the back door.

The cicadas sing without restraint. Their raucous voices engulf me – like a rasping brass band hidden in the trees.

Potatos boil in the kitchen. Sleek green beans, picked this afternoon, sizzle with garlic. Fans roar to to counteract the intense heat. Mom, skin summer-brown and eyes watery, stands at the counter chopping apples. Dad fixes the screen door (which I unhinged while breaking in to our locked house) and looks up to smile.

I think of Sibelius’ beautiful “Finlandia” …

            Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,

            And all is darkened in the vale of tears,

            Then shalt thou better know his love, his heart,

            Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.

            Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay

            From his own fullness all he takes away.