I arrived back in Seattle late last night, and boy, does it feel good! Although it’s a bit surreal, seeing this familiar city again after so long. I know it so well, but it seems a bit distant at the moment. It is very strange to be back in a "big city" - so many lights, so many people, so many cars. I had really come to love the quiet darkness of Santa Fe. As we were driving west last night, just about to cross the Cascade Mountains, we could see Venus and Jupiter reflecting the light of the setting sun. I said to Calin, "See those "stars?" They are Venus and Jupiter, and they are beautiful..." As I trailed off, unsure how to finish my sentence, she heard my unvoiced thought: "But not as beautiful as in Santa Fe?" It was true. Hard to believe that the sight of a planet could ever be less beautiful, less awe-inspiring, but last night they seemed so much farther away. They weren't less beautiful, but they were certainly different. Colder, less accessible. It was as if they had gone back up into the heavens, after visiting me "on earth."
But my attention shifted as we drove, my awe being drawn to the beauties of this landscape, my home. Mt. Rainier was "out," silhouetted beautifully by the sunset. As I drove along the familiar stretch of I-90 from Ellensburg to Seattle, even in the dark I was aware of the features we were passing. The strange swampy lake with dozens of tree stumps rising out of it, and the summit with deserted (for now) ski lodges. I know this place, more intimately than any I’ve lived before. And it feels good to be home.
BUT! My house is not yet my home, at least in the sense of being settled and unpacked. Erik moved in (and S&L moved upstairs) in July, and the majority of unpacking and organizing is yet to be done. (Erik wisely knew that I would want to “set up house,” and so he kindly left me work to do. I am NOT being sarcastic about that, either!) As I unpack from the summer, I’ll be finding new places for my things and getting reacquainted with all the things I left behind. Books, clothes, furniture, trinkets and artwork (and husband!). New paint will go on the walls on Monday (Labor Day, appropriately enough), and a housewarming party is scheduled for two weeks from now. Plenty of time to make a house a home!
My only concern is that I will become engrossed in my home-making and neglect my music. This has been an issue, certainly, as I returned home from my past two summers away, but this year feels different. I’m getting better at integrating the two parts of my life (home and work), and my desire to have both at the same time is strong. Today I plan to sing a little bit, most likely just a few gentle warm-ups in the shower, to help get my voice back after four days in an air-conditioned car. Tomorrow I’m already planning to have a short practice session (reviewing audition arias), most likely on a break from unpacking and organizing. Sounds like a perfect day…