The significance of being close to Concord and Lexington, MA while I continue to visit the state, is not lost on me. The Battles of Lexington and Concord fought in 1775 started the American Revolutionary War. History and bloodshed are in the earth here. Democracy is on the ballot in 2020. We are holding our breath in a Herculean effort as we await to learn of our country’s future. The ballots are being counted until the last vote is recorded demonstrating that democracy still has a chance.
After last week’s record-breaking October snowfall, I rescheduled my art commission delivery to early Nov 4th. What was I thinking? Early morning post election day? I hardly noticed the calendar change as the election continues on. Time stands esoterically still. Fatigued and worried I set out. The sky was reassuringly blue, a fine New England day. The highways eerily easy to navigate. Rush hour traffic an oxymoron. Yet, I arrive a few minutes late. I wanted to travel the back roads that my car knows as well as I do despite the many months since I have last visited.
I call the interior decorator who is managing the commission to let her know I was on my way. We are also friends. Our conversation is indicative of just that as there is an obvious comfort in our confidences. Eagerly we go from one serious topic to the next. Masks worn and warn while our eyes express the stress and weight of the time that has passed since we last saw one another just before Christmas of last year. A hint of sparkle persists as we are both resoundingly strong women who refuse to give up. We tried to have a normal upbeat conversation while talking about my painting, but nothing is normal right now. Grateful for the work I thank her once again and I make my exit.
On my way to my next and final appointment for the day I took a very familiar route from the twenty plus years I lived in Metro West. I know every road and every short cut. I have run these many roads more than I have run any others. Home at an intrinsic level.
I couldn’t drive past my old house just a couple of streets away. Our family home. Justifying this decision based on time as time was exactly the problem. The many splendid years we lived on Adams Street was ultimately not enough time in my mind this morning. So many people I have loved passed through that house spending holidays or just time sitting at my kitchen table chatting. That is the last house my parents were to visit so there are many memories that have seeped into the walls and floorboards that could not be relocated to my future homes.
Passing the high school my heart warmed. The many wonderful years my children attended. Envisioning the X Cross country girls’ team, I coached. The fields manicured. The parking lot minimally filled yet. I drove by swiftly before the tears could flow.
Familiar houses and businesses still line each road, but changes have been made. New construction, building renovations and the striking clearing of the land that I had always hoped would stay tree filled. A new restaurant in the downtown area on the corner. I could quickly recount the many previous businesses in that very location. Through the window I observe white table clothes draped over each small square dining table. I know they were spaced apart but wondered if they were Covid-19 far enough? Who is dining on white tablecloths these days? Something I once wouldn’t have thought twice about gives me pause this morning.
I see a gentleman walking down the road near the town line and wonder if I know him? I hope I do before I cross the town line as I want to still belong. I pass him with no recognition and accept that time has indeed passed…
“Home is where you go to find solace from the ever-changing chaos, to find love within the confines of a heartless world, and to be reminded that no matter how far you wander, there will always be something waiting when you return.”
― Kendal Rob