Today I have a day off from work. The kids are in school, Mike is home working on a freelance project, and I am out walking. All by myself. With college kids wearing boots and backpacks, couples holding hands, a woman walking her dog all wrapped up in a soft wool sweater. It’s fall and there are leaves crunching under my feet. I’m so thankful I get to wear my own hat and boots today! I’ve missed them these last few years. It’s like I’m getting a whole new winter wardrobe, things I fell in love with once and now get to love all over again.
If you asked me what I could be doing at this point in my life that would be a dream come true, it would be exactly this. This moment, this day, this year, this Vienna. I am by myself for a few hours in a city where I can window shop, buy chocolate, sip coffee, and get lost in crowds that don’t notice I’m here.
I can gaze at tins of lebkuchen cookies and cardboard towers of Italian panettone, and feel excited that Christmas is coming and will actually have real trees and Christmas carols. I’m also excited that in these last few years of their little boyhood, Eli and Jake get to live in a place with playgrounds, where they can be excited for swings and slides and know the joy of playing ping pong in the crunchy fallen leaves.
I guess there is never an age where it is not fun to crunch through leaves.
Fall makes me feel alive in a way that none of the other seasons do. Waking up in the dark somehow turns the morning ritual of making coffee into something special, like we’re getting ready for a road trip even though we’re only going to work. I like the chilly air that always justifies a warm cappuccino. I like fluffy socks and down comforters, and seeing mist off in the distance when the sunrise is still on its way. I like the warm glow of the light over the stove, when the kids wake up and come out to the kitchen with their blankets and ruffled hair.
I like this wall of ivy outside of the window that is turning red. I didn’t know ivy did that.
Most of all, I love that we are finally Home again. That on this day off we are settled in Vienna, and I don’t have to unpack or try to imagine what our life is going to look like, eventually.
Life has started again. We made it. One more time, through one more transition across continents, one more time that none of our things fell off the boat into the ocean. We are looking forward again.
Let the fun begin!