What a week it’s been!
I’m home from five full and restorative days in Colorado, just in time for wedding anniversary 21. (And just in time for Troy to leave town.) (But he’s back today!)
In those days away, I loaded up on Audrey: a Wailin’ Jennys concert; senior photo shoot; her sweetheart’s birthday; Target + thrift; dinner with friends; she joined Planet Fitness; we walked at the park where her brother learned to pump on the swings a long time ago now…
And time with friends! Lake walk, morning coffee, Spanish tortilla, cheesecake, church, conversation, late-night laughter. So much laughter.
I met the sweetest people in our old neighborhood, a pair of twenty-something parents with two littles, George and Amelia. Sarah’s from Montana; Matthew is a butcher; sheets dried on the clothesline and toys littered the yard of
our old their new house. (Joy! Gratitude! Relief!) (I’d feared it becoming ‘investment property’ in that booming town.)
And? I made time to retreat. (I retreat, spring + fall, with a kindred spirit, and this was our first one ‘post-move’.) It was shorter than usual, and also just right. We stayed local, set our intentions, and engaged–start to finish.
Considering this highlights reel, I’m surprised I didn’t come home exhausted.
But on the contrary.
Because, first and foremost, Audrey is good–which means my heart is good. I had the comfiest bed in the coziest room. Friends filled me up with so much love.
And believe it or not? I shed no tears!
Not a one.
Almost everyone asked How does it feel?
How does it feel to be back? To be back home in Colorado? Then be back home in New York?
Well, it’s exactly that.
Surprised as I was, I didn’t feel pulled or choked up, tugged or teary. I felt home leaving Buffalo and landing in Denver. The same as I feel home at my brother’s in San Diego. And home in my parents’ living room, no matter the house, no matter I didn’t grow up there.
It’s obvious, sure. I’m home with my family.
But it’s a smidge more than that.
I’ve felt a kinship to turtles the past couple years (you might remember the Loggerhead I fell for in March). I suspect it’s because I’m turtle’ish myself: slow + deliberate, for sure. But I mean the metaphorical sense of Home.
I may not carry mine everywhere I go. But I’ve felt it. On the road. At a friend’s house. In foreign countries. The woods.
I think there’s a difference between at home in a place–versus home.
‘At home’ means I feel welcome, comfortable, at ease. ‘Home,’ though, is belonging. When I’m Home, I feel an exhalation, of sorts. When I’m home, there’s a sense of staying. (Even if the stay’s only brief.)
For a long time…since I was little-little…Home was a singular, structural place, and I was fiercely attached to it. To the home I was born in and the home where my children were born.
That grip has loosened the past couple years: I’m getting more comfortable being less attached. (To the point where I’m curious…where will home be next? We won’t live in this house forever.) (And that? Not too long ago, that would have left me bereft.)
It seems I’m learning.
Attachment is not synonymous with connection.
I can let go and love.
I can leave and remain.