It takes me about an hour to adjust.
First I water the plants. I always think they know if I don’t do it straight away. I sense them as I walk around the place stuffing things in drawers, disappointed and vengeful, wilting their leaves hurriedly, on purpose, just to spite me. I remove dead petals, prod at the compost, sprinkle plant food.
Then I unpack the suitcase. I load the washer, return sandals and flip flops to the shoe closet, perfume bottle to the vanity top, half read books to our nightstands. An impossibly intricate sea shell to the already overflowing bowl on the coffee table.
One or two things still smell like the sea. But mostly it smells like home. Furniture wax and a fresh bottle of red breathing on the kitchen counter, fabric softener and basil, a hint of geranium through the living room windows.
I feel rested. A new, unexpected state of affairs.