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  • Elaine Fletcher Chapman

Monday: The Fourth Day

Light rain today and I turned the heat up in the house. You know, to take the chill off. After reading Merton this morning ( as long as the speech formed is from silence and brings your soul again to silence). In the last week there has not been enough silence. I’m discovering the meaning of the term itinerant. On Saturday, we gave the new minister and his family a tour of our home. I said, this room has wonderful light. I said, this bathroom is roomy but somewhat old fashioned. I said, here is the laundry room and the kitchen. I said, yes there are two fireplaces. I served cookies and tea. Fresh flowers placed around the house and a special bouquet for them to take home. I said, you can walk to the bank. I said, there are great restaurants in this small town. I said, you can paddleboard in the creek at the end of the road. I began to cry and everyone  immediately became uncomfortable. They said, where you are going has a great city park. They said, there is a Whole Foods Market and Starbucks. Yes, I said, I know. Why did I make the house look so pretty and attractive? A formality, this tour. And the sadness of leaving a place we love: country roads, the rose window, friends, marsh, the creek, seeing the Milkey Way from our front yard, Mattawoman Creek Farm, The Corner Bakery, Janet’s, Dawn and her shop, special people, the field where I run the dog in the mornings, the ocean. I love saying seaside, bayside. People who have embraced me and I have come to love.

I turn my head in the direction across the bay where we are projected to move and know we are pulled toward goodness: another nice house, my best friend, a brother, more writing time, less necessary distractions, good people and yes, a varity of grocery stores. And I’m sure we will find a new field for the dog.  Then I pause and say: Yes.  But…

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