Golden moments: Napping in a park in La Cumbre. A late siesta.

Funny how quickly we revert to our childhood competitive ways, going back to fighting like the sisters we grew up as. The experience feels nothing short of territorial, me being the dog who can’t restrain myself enough to lose a pissing contest. Really? Is that who I’ve become under stress? Highly defensive, territorial. This all sounds like a normal stress response.

After dinner tonight, we’ll drive back to Cordoba. We left San Marcos this morning and after dropping off some hitchhikers, we headed to Oragami–the name of the place is beyond me now–to visit the spaces where Indians used to grind flour in mountainside caves. The drive was spectacular–we stopped to get olives and visited a shrine before arriving on the side of a great rock wall. There, we hiked for about 15 minutes, snapping photos before coming to a fork in the path. We climbed up, up, up to the top of the rocks. It was beautiful, and felt like what I imagine to be the southwestern United States.

We slowly hiked back to the house near where we parked, throats parched. We polished off two Quilmes and all of us shared a plateful of empanadas that were fried, not baked. Flies swarmed the table after we finished; the road we had planned to take out was closed after a bridge had washed out. So instead we headed back on our original path, ending at La Cumbre. After kicking ass at canasta, my new favorite card game, Wendy and Fer curled up on the blanket, now sleeping lightly. The breeze is blowing, and it is the golden hour, between 6 and 8 p.m. here when the light is just perfect, and we’re laid out in a park without a care in the world, save making it to “The Owl” for a beer and dinner before heading home.

Home. Where is home? Home is here, on a blanket with my sister y Fer, where we can bicker like children about card games before collapsing in a sleepy heap. Home is in the car, barreling down dusty roads in the countryside in what feels like a rally car.

Home is that shriek of joy I heard when I came around the corner from customs in the Cordoba airport, Wendy jumping up and down, excited to see me.

Home is realizing my own strengths and weaknesses, my own pain points and what drives my ego, the same games we played as children.

But now, HOME is putting those aside and just enjoying the time we have here and now. Not worried about getting to Tennessee, going back to work or even worrying about what time I’ll go to bed, when I’ll talk to my friends, wondering what the cold is like. No, none of those things. I waited too long to not totally soak in these precious, golden moments…

I am home.

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