The call came at 4 p.m. yesterday: would I jump on a plane today and come back to Vermont to teach in Goddard’s BFA in Creative Writing program for a week? I stared at the phone in disbelief for a while. It’s almost spring in Kansas, the skies are supposed to clear and the temperatures on the rise, and Vermont? Wasn’t I just there five weeks ago?
Sometimes a gal has to make a crazy-fast decision with her gut, but in my case, there were opposing forces involved. My inner worker bee said, “Go!” My inner take-good-care bee said, “No!” I let them negotiate as I called several friends and Ken, talking out loud with these good witnesses. Eventually, the bees buzzed a solution: Go but take good care. Rest and replenish. Rent my own car and take little road trips up solitary mountain roads (when they’re not covered with mud and snow). A few more calls, some fast manuvers on the computer, and it was arranged.
The plane flight — could that be a relaxing venture…..ever? I tried to breathe slowly, inhale aromatherapy oils and read trashy magazines while chanting little lullabies. Despite the aerobic workout at the Detroit airport when I had to run non-stop for 20 minutes from Gate A28 to C17 to leap onto the little puddle-jumper to Vermont, it was actually somewhat serene.
The rental car turned out to have 182,999 less miles on it than my car at home, and a sunroof and XF radio, so I drove happily, switching between Springsteen, Indigo Girls, Showtunes, 40s Music and BBC news.
Now that I’ve arrived — unpacked and readying myself for a dinner (that I didn’t have to cook, thank you very much) — I’m just starting to stop the spinning of whether it was the right choice to go. Last night, after all was arranged, I had a pang of regret, not wanting to leave my beloved home. But once I turned into the Goddard parking lot, the sun illuminating everything so that even the mud glowed silver, I realized I was home here too. This sense of home is so familar that when I stopped at supermarket on the way here, a woman I didn’t know but who looked like someone in Lawrence walked up to me and said, “Can you believe it’s supposed to snow again?”
I smiled at her and said, “No, it’s just crazy, isn’t it?”
I don’t know in my soul if I’m in Vermont or Kansas, or where the heck Toto is, but I know home when I feel it.