It's calmer here, quieter.
The streets are so dark at night it's almost scary.
There are paws that greet you, a wagging tail not too far behind.
The TV is almost always on, there are snacks all the time.
Things you would never eat somehow find their way into your hands.
You can't see one side of this home while sitting on the other. In fact, there are multiple floors.
The rug softens under your feet and knitted blankets keep you warm.
They fall asleep early, well before ten. Only to wake up a few hours later. It was a nap, she'll say.
He stares at you intensely, follows you around, asks to be picked up in the morning, placed on the bed.
There is grass everywhere. A park, a yard, a baseball field.
It smells different here.
You settle in behind the wheel of the car, easing back into the familiar feel.
You lace up the running shoes that are barely worn in, despite buying them last year.
There is a Target. There is a Target that is only five minutes away.
You pass the place you had your first date,
the corner where you met up with your friends,
the park where you watched the boys play basketball,
the destination for ice cream,
the place you had that summer job.
You end up at the mall, even when you don't mean to. It just happens.
There is music in the car, music in the house, music from the piano, music all the time.
And there is so much singing.
It isn't so much how it stays the same,
but instead, how much you change.
And change and change and change.
Whirling like a tornado, new opinions all the time.
Thoughts, growth, ideas, experiences, all piling together,
resulting in the you that is, well, you.
You think of that quote you used to know,
'There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.'
Nelson Mandela had it right.