Place Where You Live:

Black Mountain, NC

Snow sits heavily on the branches of a tree.

Sometimes, I look outside the living room window after I’ve finally pulled myself out of bed in the morning (I readily languish under the covers; it is my safe haven where thoughts and daydreams linger and keep me warm). Depending on the time of year, I see only grass and leaf-covered trees outside the sliding glass door, or bare trunks through which I spot a beaten-down storage shed about half a mile away. More than ever before in my life, I’ve witnessed snow that covers the covered-back porch and sits heavily on branches, pushing them toward the ground. I can feel their requests for mercy, and on occasion the snow acquiesces, with a little help from the wind.

Sometimes, I can’t believe I’m still here. This was supposed to be a pit-stop, three months, six months max. I had to leave where I lived – more from an internal push that any external event – but I didn’t have a place I was ready to go. North Carolina is where I grew up, but closer to the warmness of the ocean, in tobacco country. Now I found myself in the mountains, fall leaves bursting with color and filled with people who shared similar thoughts and lifestyles to mine. Nonetheless, it was only supposed to be for a short time.

Sometimes, I wonder if the quaintness of the downtown and the friendly new-age talk will keep me here, as I get deeper and deeper into the rhythm of staying in place. Maybe my dance will flourish, or the restaurants with gluten-free scones and cafes with puh-erh teas will make me stay put. The summers packed full with outdoor concerts and wine bars with tastings and local eggs with yolks so yellow might just pull me deep into this land.

Sometimes, I wonder if it will be love that makes it impossible for me to go.