All of the official business of seeing to death is now complete. The funeral has been arranged and performed, as has the burial. Our weekend is perhaps analagous of life in general; it was a brutal drive punctuated by great joy, sorrow, togetherness and pain.
Of the last 72 hours, 20 were spent in cars. We went up to Fort Wayne, Indiana, across to Kewanna, back to Fort Wayne and back down again home. I told my husband I realised on this trip that I have four “hometowns” (small h) that are formative, important places in my life. There’s the Capital H Hometown–Fort Wayne–where I was born, where I was educated. Then there’s Kewanna, with my grandparents’ farm and the small town a mile up the road. Now there’s also Nashville. I’ve officially lived here the longest of any place, but I came to it after adulthood. The other small h hometown I have is Orlando. And I know it’s goofy I say that, but I honestly think any place that is your Happy Place can be a small h hometown.
It was an odd realisation I had last night when we finally stumbled into the house and put all of our bags down as close to the door as possible. My grandmother died in the last days of summer, and the seasons switched while I wasn’t looking. Now fall is here with all the crisp air and cooler sunshine that seems somehow less intense and more restful.
I feel like things are winding down. Quinn is in the winter of his life, and I’m making my peace with the possibility of him going to Graduate School before Christmas. My Morning Glories are wilting in the cold, shriveling into dead things while they leave behind the seeds for next years’ batch in the ground. The Osage Oranges are falling from the trees in the occassional thunk that is a harbinger of the end of the year and collecting in haphazard discard along the fencerow at the bottom of the yard. They look like the forgotten brains of the summer faerie folk, left behind when they evaporated into the equinox. It’s said that an Osage Orange under your bed keeps away spiders, ticks, mosquitos, roaches and crickets. When you cut the fruit open it bleeds a milky acid. That’s fae blood, I know, and the Folk leave it behind so that the bugs will be driven off and not compete with them for nectar, flowershade and bits of leavings from the big house.
My grandmother’s middle name was Fay, but she changed the spelling to Pha–a forerunner to all of the Ashleighs and Gwynniphers of our time. I just realised that now…that she was part fae herself.