I pull the minivan up to the garage door, inching closer and closer until the headlights reflect back, burning into my retinas. Turning the key, all goes black. My neck and shoulders tense as I prepare to step into the cold. I fully intend to rush into my warm house as quickly as my feet can carry me.
Yet when I clamor down from my driver's perch and slam the door, I pause to look up, letting the fingers of the chill creep up my wrists and around my ankles.
About this time (when I usually come home to rest) I can see hundreds of stars on a clear evening. And this time of year, Orion shines down just above the trees in perfect view, as though he ran to greet me by the side of my car.
My heartbeat slows. A wisp of fog drifts slowly out of my mouth. I shiver.
As I inhale, my shoulders fall. More fog. More starlight. More wonder.
I hear my own footsteps, and warmth and incandescent light wash over me. I'm home.