beautiful stained glass,
eclectic murals on every corner.
The alphabet on green street signs
the number line too,
to explain the grid of a second haven.
Artistic family creations
and the many rescued chairs
make this home our home.
I see familiarity.
The oven has held it all,
from breads to cakes to garlic-infused sprouts,
each recipe created with passion and care.
The fumes of Banana Boat SPF 30
and well-known salt marsh gasses
become engrained within the work day.
Even the Virginia heat with its signature perfume:
honeysuckle and humidity.
It marks the beginning and the end.
I smell intention.
It starts with dinner.
Curries, galettes, and everything in between,
spreading joy through delicious recipes.
The saltiness of pouring sweat
and afternoon calories
during family picnics to Belle Isle and beyond.
Learning to show support,
just by providing nourishment,
creates circumstances for deeper bonds.
I taste community.
Warm breezes by the luxury pool
and cotton quilts wrapped so tightly around
set the scene for ultimate comfort.
Multiple climates within the walls,
often on the same day;
a daunting yet unifying struggle that inspires resiliency.
The grasping of a small hand
and the quick pulse on a suspended bridge
bring about empathy for the adventurous flock.
I feel belonging.
Laughter, dialogue, music.
The steps of family and friends.
All ring loud on a constant rotation.
Amidst the deafening tragedy and the silent unknown
our circle stands with and within our other circles,
challenged to learn and to give more than ever before.
Dreams and goals, pathways and hurdles,
most shared, each understood.
A devotion to serve always humming.
I hear advocacy.
These are the elements that invoke the senses.
That create the ten month journey.