A mile in the air and during the time when it is late at night across the country I woke up disoriented, crammed against the window. Outside the ground was dark but the sky was covered in stars, closer than I had ever noticed them. I wondered briefly if they were noticing us, too, and then the quiet weight of the stranger next to me shifted and the scarf covering my legs slipped and I lost most of the stars to a few stray wisps of clouds.
At the airport, a woman waited with a balloon and her camera trained on the doorway. She had been standing there some time, and so by the time I found my family and said hello and dumped my bag on one of my brothers she was shifting her weight from one foot to the other, clearly uncomfortable standing so long in her high brown wedges. We waited a while, to see who she thought was coming, but if they were in the airport they were slow to find the way out.
Later, we took a walk with the dogs, fireflies glinting in the hedges. Every few steps the breeze swept down a new gust of magnolias and everyone working in yards or sitting on porches waved when we walked past.