you go off and meet with someone you haven’t seen for years and though y’all look different everything you remembered about them feels the same. you’re thousands of miles away from one another so this is no small trip. on your last day you stand on their front porch as the airport taxi waits for you to say your goodbyes.

they ask you to take a closer look at their garden and you think they’ve lost some screws when they start digging a hole next to a lemon tree with their bare hands. filled with curiosity you stare and wait patiently until they reach a small round foil shaped something. they smile excitedly and tell you it’s the key to their home and that no matter where you find yourself in the world you can return without an invite and make yourself at home.

you thank and give them a hug, sure they’d ever understand how much you’d been touched by the gesture. a home with no string attached sounded too good to be true but there it was, a gold key sitting in a handful of soil and wrapped in foil. a secret promise between us and the earth.

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