My guest is gone and boys are still asleep.
The familiar quiet permeates this house.
My dog gets up. I hear his paws on wood floor, his breath, he is drinking water noisily.
His sounds come warm to my ears, soothing. The quiet is less dense, lighter.
I take a deep breathe myself.
I heard so many positive and loving things about myself as a teacher this past week.
I know they are true and real, but here I am back in this new place, quiet house, stripped bare of identity.
Anything could happen, but I am having trouble making out the first step.
Or I hesitate for fear of a first misstep.
It is cold outside now. I remind myself that this is the season of turning in and gathering.
It is ok to pause, to not know, to take time.
Quiet is still a gift. Still a gift.