We're back from the woods, feeling refreshed, happy to be occupying our little piece of the world again and sort of sad too. We miss our Granny. We miss the pine trees and the stillness of the country.
We had such a good time, but it was also nice to come home. I love the moment when we come piling out of the car and into our house after the long drive. The boys rush straight out to see their chickens, check on the progress of our fall garden, and dig through the pile of mail to see if anything has come for them. They dive into their play, refilling every corner of our home with the sounds of life.
Now and again though, one of them will walk by me as I'm unpacking, doing our laundry, making a list for the grocery store, and he will say, "I wonder what Granny is doing right now?"
It must be so quiet there now, without all the bustling boyness of us.
Just before we left, my guys conspired to do something to "help Granny out." They wanted to rake and burn her leaves for her.
There was much jumping, giggling, rake-wielding, wheel barrow pushing, "stand back from the fire" mayhem.
Their voices echoed off the pines and another of my childhood memories became part of their own stories – the smell of burning leaves, the sight of smoke rising through the woods, reflecting the morning light.
The knowledge that we had only minutes left there before we set off for our long ride home, weighed heavy on our hearts. So, we just kept raking as long as there were leaves.
And then we gathered around our fire one last time – feeling it's warmth and letting it's smoke soak into our skin and clothes. Each of the hearts beating around our circle wished this time didn't have to end.
I can't help but think that something of all that love, and that perfect moment rose with the smoke and lives on now, deep in our woods.