It had been almost a year, which could feel like forever on some days, but is actually very little time in the grand scheme of things. Though she moved through a normal rhythm and recognized faces on the sidewalks, there were moments that the long and narrow apartment struck her more as some hotel room in a place she was visiting than home yet.
There were things to count on though. That spring would come, for one. That the winter which had seemed unending while it seeped through all of March would be defeated in April and the earth would come awake. What she hadn't been expecting was how good that would feel, like she'd never really felt spring before she'd felt it after that first New York winter.
Now she could throw open the windows in the afternoons to hear the rustle of the budding tree out back. And just like she remembered she could count on the changes in seasons, she learned that she could count on 2:00, when the jazz ensemble would practice with gusto from some apartment just below hers. In any other place, it might have proved an annoyance. But this place was a dream land where branches in bloom make long, narrow apartments feel like tree houses and where rambunctious musicians play private jazz concerts for audiences of one mother resting in the privacy of her own home.