This song came up on my Spotify yesterday (warning: it’s a really, really sad song) and reduced me to a puddle of tears right at the kitchen counter. Not my kitchen counter. Somebody else’s kitchen counter. In somebody else’s home.
My home is different. The wooden door that opened into a sky lit hallway. The plants that greeted you everywhere. The concrete floors with premature cracks. The wooden beamed ceiling and brick accent wall. The rounded fireplace that ignited comfort. The imperfect hand made tiles. The painted patio mural and jacuzzi we didn’t use as much as we should have. The cozy bedroom. The blue wall. The moon garland…all of it. All the details of our home in San Miguel flooded in my mind.
When news of the pandemic was rushing in with intensity, I actually had already unpacked my suitcase in Todos Santos, Baja. I didn’t have a return ticket to San Miguel de Allende. The heart-breaking goodbye to David at the entry gate of our home was held in words he said as I left: “You are just going on a work trip with the hopes of exploring yourself along the way.”
I nodded emphatically and felt a little better.
Little did we know that within a short time later it would be so much more.
Our plan was to breathe space and time into the relationship. Our plan was for me to go on this trip, feel things out while he also delved into himself for answers, and meet up at the very latest May 1st in Detroit to see Elton John on his good-bye tour. Our plan was to work in therapy and ask the questions, to have our summers packed full, to return home to San Miguel…at some point soon.
And, then the plans crumbled and scattered…just like that.
After so much stressful consideration we decided to leave Mexico-me from Todos Santos, him from San Miguel-and be with our families during this time. There were many reasons to sit with, and while it was probably the best thing to do (David’s fragile lung health was reason #1), the impact lingers achingly.
Along with the unknowns the rest of the world is carrying, the questions we have weigh down heavily like:
-who will care for our house and for how long? when will it be safe to travel back to San Miguel? when will it be safe for us to see one another? do we want to live in San Miguel? how long can we have Wreath (our dog) with the boarder? given neither of us has a permanent place, what is best for her? and…what is happening with us? how do we describe it? label it? when will that be clear?
Our shared experience is this: we are each alone and with social distancing, this is magnified to a large degree. It is no wonder, then, that nostalgia rushes in like a gust of wind from time to time. For better or for worse…together we miss the home we built together, the life we created, the liberties of directing our next steps.
While there are glimmers of breakthroughs and touches of new promise, that dull ache is still there…breaking open into full on pain when that one song, out of nowhere, hits it just right.