I feel safe here. I don’t have to defend myself or explain or be anyone except myself. No one rushes me when I awake and wander out of my room. Oh, I am greeted. Sometimes she flashes that grin as her crystal eyes dance. Sometimes he tells me he’s come up with another question about science to ask Siri. Sometimes they are engaged in their routines or eating breakfast. Always I hear the magical word, Granddaddy!

“I feel safe here. I just am here.” Photo by Tim Graves.

I feel safe here. I just am here.

I help where I can. Watching the grands while their parents have a rare dinner out together. They are grateful, and I find joy in it. I have played many board games (sometimes with flexible rules), read stories, laughed out loud, answered questions, and been scolded by a 4-year-old for mistreating my books (I like to underline as I read), witnessed empathetic parenting, watched siblings volunteer help to the other, and simply relished those around me.

This phase of my trans-continental pilgrimage to reset my physical, spiritual, and emotional being has reminded me of my authentic self. I leave tomorrow and will miss both the children and their parents immensely. I am grateful for their role in helping me experience safety again.

I feel safe here. I feel myself here.

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