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  • I'm moving today. For the fifth time in a year.

    I've been living in a yellow house in a suburb of Boston for a few months now. In the backyard is a matching yellow shed and a brown square patch of garden that yielded pounds of tomatoes, squash, peppers, and herbs, despite the woodchuck determined to eat through it all. The garden is recently leveled and covered in already sprouting grass seed that's a different shade of green. Even if there were no garden next year, traces of it will linger. But as of right now, there's no reason there wouldn't be.

    The yard has no fence and melts into a woods of lofty pine trees; not the stubby, bottom-heavy kind in the Midwest, but Pinus resinosa - the red pines of New England. The bases are long and lean, the branches starting closer to the top than the bottom. Impossible to climb, but so tall you can hear the constant wind through the canopies.

    At the base of one of the trees at the edge of the yard is a small patch of silver sage - some species of Artemesia I don't know enough about to identify. I have no idea how it got there and it probably doesn't either. It doesn't appear to have flowered this year, meaning it may not be pollinated, making its future uncertain. I reach down and rub the leaves, but the scent is gone, as it's October and already dying.

    There's been time and labor invested here, in this single acre of space where the yellow house was built by a young couple 30 years ago. Their children - one of whom I am in love with but must leave - made two small paths where they traveled back and forth to friends' homes, paths now covered in needles, leaves, and small saplings. Gardens planted and harvested, sheds built, childhoods made, in the shadow of a woods that continued to grow wild.

    Pine needles fall into my coffee cup as I sit on the stone steps to the shed, and I get it. I understand why people choose one place and stay, knowing that change will come anyway.

    I wonder if the sage will bloom next year.
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