There is a pure, unadulterated joy in remembering beginnings.
It is a tropical summer night tonight. One of the few in our temperate town. The cats are dark shadows against the grass, imagining themselves as alpha predators in the wide savannahs of Africa, I have no doubt. We have the door to the porch wide open, no lights on inside because we don’t have a screen and the mosquitos are going to eat us alive. We have just finished watching Fried Green Tomatoes and have listened to the soft vowels of the South all night.
I breathe in the moist night air and it conjures images of my first nights in Georgia. Of the soft sweet smell of the old house, of the polished hardwoods in the bedroom and the dirty old carpet in the living-room. The fresh, spicy aroma of homemade pasta sauce lingers in the kitchen, one of the first dishes my husband ever cooked for me. The tiles on the kitchen floor are old and some of them are cracked but they feel cool under my bare feet and here as there the door to the garden is wide open. This one has a screen, though, because you don’t mess around with Georgia mosquitos.
I picture us, six years later, in that house instead of our place here. I picture us chasing each other around the house, not needing to be quiet because of the neighbors. I picture us sweating while renovating the house and actually looking forward to the two days of snow instead dreading the long cold of the winter. I picture a toddler running over those hardwoods, chasing the cats while being chased by a Beagle.
The joy of remembering a beginning, it brings with it the longing for a life that has already passed me by. And for one long summer moment, I regret our decisions.
Then I move on and take up life where I left it – right in the middle.