On a biannual visit with my husband to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to visit my mother-in-law, we opt to stay local. “Are you bored?” my father half-jokes on the phone after I spend ten minutes praising the cozy back porch. “Not too much,” I laugh.
A Connecticut native, I’ve spent the last two years living in the Bronx. Years ago, when I was up for a position at a college in New Hampshire, friends predicted I’d go stir crazy if I moved there. Life steered me to New York instead, where I met my husband and currently work in PR while he finishes his PhD. The timeline between now and a completed dissertation is about two years; in the meantime I rent my Connecticut condo with hopes of selling it by the time he’s done.
We debate staying in New York City or moving to our beloved Northwest to allow him to complete his dissertation and teach in the area. Halfway through contemplating hypotheticals, I remember being here, present, on the beloved porch overlooking acres of pine-studded mountains. A hummingbird hovers just close enough to avoid me catching it.
This whirring pulse of life, a tiny, throbbing presence, reminds me to breathe. Here I can write with greater clarity and focus. Later my mother-in-law will come out. We’ll drink coffee and tea and chat for hours. This is life, not the noise of what-ifs. It will all work out, my husband often says, because it always does. Not always in the ways you expect, but it does. In the meantime, I realize, we’re as settled as we decide to be, being awake, aware of our aliveness, of the beauty we choose to embrace.