Welcome Home

I see your brake lights before I see you, actually.

Driving west on 120, just past the intersection where I turn every morning, into the oblong parking lot of that precious Christian school.

Driving west on 120 in the space where it’s two lane, two way- the lake on one side (they call it Lake County for a reason) and a line of wide-spaced, Victorian homes on the other.

I’m the fourth car in a line of four, our parade lead by a gray Sedan rolling five miles under the speed limit. So I have time to watch you, for a moment.

The brake lights catch my eye first, their red shine stabbing into the surrounding darkness insistently, but not obnoxiously. The trees above you glow red, for a moment, and it’s another moment before I make out the shape of the car, there below the trees.

You’re moving slowly, up the driveway, the white circles cast by your headlights shrinking as you approach the house, until you’ve stopped, leaving two white spheres glowing on the red bricks, and the trees above still eerily red.

You’re home.

I wonder then, what you’re coming home to. I’m not particularly fond of dark houses in the night, but it’s not trepidation I feel as I watch you arrive, but rather an odd sense of belonging, warming my chest, settling contentedly in my stomach. You’re home.

I glance up as I pass, my gaze rising past the front door, searching windows for light, for signs of life and welcoming warmth. But the house is dark, the door is closed, and I doubt, for a moment, the cheeriness, the relief, that I stumbled upon as I watched you arrive just second ago.

I mean, this surely doesn’t look welcoming.

But that sense of home sticks strong in my chest, and I know that you’re where you should be, you need to be, you want to be.

So I drive on- what else am I to do, really? And you? Well, I suppose you open your door, you gather your things, you walk to the house. I’m already beyond, past, out of sight, but you unlock the front door, you push through, and there, in that deep-sigh, warm-air moment, you are home.



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