A heavy word, a meaningful one. It flies on warm breath and ends in a whisper. Gentle, but direct. Clear cut as anything could be. Moominmama told me once, that home can be many things. A place, a feeling. A person.
I only giggled at the time. Home is moominhouse! It always has been! And, it still is. But now, I am not so sure. Warm, summer winds rustle my fur as we sit, shoulder to shoulder on a grassy hill, flowers blowing lazily in the breeze.
The sun is setting, beautiful purple and crimson and gold illuminating the valley with the last of it's heat. And I tip my head to side, and listen and watch as my wanderer plays softly on his harmonica. The tune rises steadily, perfectly. And then it stops.
"Well, what do you think of that?" Snufkin asks, glancing towards the sky.
"Wonderful! Absolutely wonderful, snufkin!", I exclaim, "it's perfect!"
"Well, it's still a work in progress." He says, tipping his hat lower over his eyes.
"Oh yes, naturally!" I reply, and think back to one of papas old books i read a few weeks ago, remembering a phrase.
"Perfection is a reward heavily sought but rarely gained."
He grins from beneath the brim of his hat, "Did you make that up just now, moomintroll?"
Oh shoot. He found me out.
I clear my throat, "Well, perhaps I'm more of a philosopher than you bargained for!"
I strike a pensive pose. I'm sure I look quite dashing and mature.
"Perhaps, perhaps." Snufkin says, turning away and grabbing his pipe. The smile remains on his face.
For a while, we sit, quiet and still. I watch the last rays of sun disappear over the mountains, then the stars as they begin to twinkle high above. Snufkins smoke reaches up towards the sky as we now lay back to enjoy the night. I breathe in.
The chill from the air begins to seep into my fur, and the ground has long since abandoned the warmth it was gifted by the sun. Snufkin sits up then, stretching his spindly arms high.
"We best be going, moomin." He says, quiet and kind. I look towards him, and his eyes glow in the starlight. Velvety black envelops us both, and he rises.
He offers me a paw. I take it, and I cannot help but notice how warm his paw is compared to everything else. We stand, and he is shorter than me. Only by a little, but shorter nontheless. I feel like I'm suffocating in how, how perfect everything seems to be. We walk back to the house, his paw long gone from mine.
I offer him to stay for dinner, but he refuses. Says he has some fish he'd like to cook before they spoil.
That night I look out my window to see his little campfire far below. A flame in inky black clouds.
A light, not unlike the light of home