It's just past the flux point in Italy when you start to greet people with Buona sera, "Good evening", rather than Buon giorno, "Good day". It's funny how often, in the afternoon, I muse on that whit of knowledge. I suppose it's in part because my sister lives in Italy, and when I'm there, I try to speak accurately. But I also like that inflection in their day; it's an acknowledgement of what is past and what is shortly to come. Buona sera can only be used for so long; soon enough you've got to switch to Buona notte, accepting that nighttime is upon you and il giorno will alight anew in the near future. I'm sitting in AROMO. The door swung open, and I left it that way; better to hear the rustling leaves, chirping birds and cadenced crickets in chorus outside. Nutmeg is perched on this little hut's railing, ever-hopeful that he'll catch a bird or insect as it flits past. The kids are playing happily inside with a sitter, and I've come out here for a sliver of time to myself. It's been too hot lately to spend much time in this space. I've missed it.
I like the solitude and the simplicity that sit with me in this room. I love that I've carved a spot within it -rug, desk, lamp, chair- but that reminders of the boys remain all around. Newspaper clippings, pens, notepads and a tiny stapler are within my reach; beyond, are planks of wood decorated by children in the thrill of being able to paint on walls. A blackboard hangs in the corner, a rainbow of broken chalk lining its narrow tray. Nonsensical labels crafted by last-year Oliver "tell" us what certain items are. From the old peg board hang dusty tools, wands and an odd bin of miscellany.
Out here I feel disconnected in a way that I don't inside. It's a mere fifteen feet to our basement door, but that bit of physical distance is important: in my cozy annex, I'm home but only kind of. Our Wi-Fi reaches me, but I choose to ignore that fact; why is so hard to do that inside? What makes this space different?
I think it's because of how AROMO came to pass; a homebody mother recognized that she needed a sanctuary and her children no longer used the playhouse she'd built them. She brought the structure to its initial fruition for them but then along with her as she evolved. A full circle sort of event.
T laughs when he sees me come in here, but I don't care that I have to duck slightly to enter. Once inside, I can stand tall and stretch out, in myriad ways. This little space is in the center of the Venn diagram of many things I treasure: my home, nature, proximity to my children, my kitchen. What's not to love?
Out here, my breath slows, my shoulders drop, my mind opens. It's so weirdly easy to forget my to-do list. Inside that thing haunts me like a needy ghost, but in my own room? Poof.
I stole away today because I have been working hard. I wanted to escape the pings of others' needs and sit with myself and my thoughts for a while before I must head out again. Simple rejuvenation of the best sort.