It’s green, here. Outside the windows you see only emerald canopy. Birds call from a distance, their piping voices strangely hollow when heard through so many slender and thick trunks. When the wind blows, the branches set to dancing, and the sunlight that pours thinly through the leaves dapples the porch and turns every blade of grass into a breathing flame of green.

It’s quiet, too. Gone are the constant sirens, the rattle and crash of the garbage truck at 8am, the music being blasted by cars as they drive by, the yells in the streets, the sound of television coming through the walls. It’s not silent though. Occasionally Stella gets up and barks through the screen door, sighting something deep in the woods that’s aroused her ire. The birds are a constant background sound, and occasionally a car does drive past the lane at the bottom of the drive, reminding you that life still goes on in the world, albeit very remotely.

We’re in Massachusetts. The Pioneer Valley, staying with Gisella, a wonderful friend of Grace’s while we look for a place of our own. Since we’ve arrived we’ve eaten countless berries, ordered raw milk from a local farm, hiked through the Quabbin Reservoir Park, cooked dinners, caught up with friends, explored Northampton and in general simply marveled at having finally arrived.

Tonight we drive to Montague to explore the Bookmill. This weekend we drive three hours into the verdant heart of Vermont to spend the weekend at a friend’s vacation home. Next week we go to the Double Edge theatre to see their traveling performance of the Odyssey. And so it goes.

So long, Miami. It looks like we’re here to stay.