This morning the first words Kid A said to me were (insert drama), "The sun is getting weaker and weaker!"

They don't like cool weather, these kids of mine. I was in bliss, however, because it was the first crisp morning I can remember in many months. With the sun coming up, the air a little fresh, and people bustling all around in their morning routines, it was so beautiful.

And, oh, hello, we're headed to India in three days. Wait, what?

We're leaving for a little less than two months, to visit our friends in Varanasi as well as working with Miriam at the meditation center in Goa for around six weeks. We are very excited, especially YaYa, who insists that India is her true home. The kids all stand differently on that subject, actually. Kid A really likes it here and is very happy, but every so often insists that he wants to move back to the U.S. YaYa says she loves India more than anywhere, and Leafy is very torn, flip-flopping between saying that he loves Pai more, and Arambol more. Solo is blissfully unaware of most reality. He loves everywhere. Everyone is definite on the fact that they can't wait to see Miriam and be back in all our Goa rhythms- preparing the roof space for devotion circles, swimming in the sea.

I like that they hold different opinions and talk them over with each other. It makes me feel as though none of them will be pushovers. Sometimes I feel like they polarize each other too much, and Chinua and I are often telling them that things don't need to be in competition with each other- that there is enough space in our hearts for loving many things. Kid A often insists that YaYa is the artist and he isn't, as though there is no room for both of them. I think part of it is his own true feelings about drawing (never, in his whole life, did he seem to truly enjoy coloring or drawing) and part of it is his desire to put everything neatly into categories.

So. My sciatica has taken a turn for the worse and I am preparing my house for leaving and packing to go. As far as I remember, sciatica was something I had in mid-pregnancy- I don't think it continued into the third trimester. At least that's what I tell myself as I look into the near future and see a lot of travel, on buses, trains, and planes.

I am also very much looking forward to being in India, for two weeks in incredible Varanasi with the dearest of friends, and for Goa and singing on the beach, sitting on the porch with Miriam and Johanna, puttering around helping to get the garden planted. But there is a part of me that hates to leave just now, when the weather is getting cool and things are changing in the air. I take that as evidence that I am truly becoming rooted in this place. It is getting under my skin, like India did before it.

After all these months of looking for the familiar, I am heading back to familiar places, which is wonderful. And when we return to Pai in the middle of December, it too, will be familiar, and that is the best of all.