Comings and goings.

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The heat is getting away with me. It carries me off with it sometime in the late morning and doesn't let my brain go until around 3:00 am, when I turn over in my sleep and sigh into the cool air from the window. It's been over 40 degrees for a long time. I like to cheer the clouds on when I see them peeking into the edges of the valley.

"Come on guys! You can do it!" A little rain would be lovely.

Until then, we flee to the pool in the late afternoons, when we can no longer function, when play fighting among the kids turns to real fighting.

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I am back home from my retreat, back among my family. When Chinua and the kids found me in Chiang Mai, they pulled up and spilled out of the car, all of them tall and radiant. I unloaded Isaac's stroller out of the back of the song taew and turned to hug them all.

But I wasn't alone.

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Miriam is here! The Goa season is over and she has come to be with us for a couple of months in Thailand. I surprised her at the train station in Bangkok and we took the most delayed train ever up to Chiang Mai together.

"The train is so quiet," she said. It's been fun to see what she notices, what things are so different from India.

Today marks more new beginnings. Isaac is three months old today. Three months! Only recently he has been eying things with frustrated fervor, determined to get them into his hands and then into his mouth. He wants to join the world, now. He's decided it's a good place for him, he'll swim on in with all the others.

But also, my Superstar husband is going away today. He'll be away for five weeks, and I feel a little as I might feel if I knew the sun would be hidden for five weeks. Or if I could only drink Tang for five weeks, no clear water.

Last night we stretched out together and talked, looking at each other and away. Five weeks is a long time, we agreed. His reason for going away is very important... he wouldn't do it right now if it wasn't.

I have all sorts of thoughts and hopes for how to make it through the next five weeks without him, but in the end I know that I really don't know. The larger our family becomes, the older everyone becomes, the less and less I feel I know. I know we have a whole lot of love, and that we will go day by day. I know that I will make many mistakes but that we are all well versed in forgiveness and in hugs. And I know that mother does not mean perfect, that a good day doesn't have to be a flawless day, and that my family loves and needs me.

Have a sweet journey, my beloved. We'll be here, waiting for you.

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