engaging…lately {41}

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…

bottom row photography: wedlake.com

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.

A ‘bonus bookstore’ at our hotel! We could have spent the entire time here.
Photo: tatteredcover.com

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.

10 thoughts on “engaging…lately {41}

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  1. My one word is FLUID. I thought my house in Arvada was the perfect little old lady house and expected to stay there til the end! Best laid plans , as they say. I’m up on VT leaf peaking in my van and condo hunting near my son in NH. Sunday is back to NH for a Mushroom foraging Meet up. Life is fluid.


    1. It sounds like life is not only FLUID–but GOOD! I walked past your old house in Arvada last week…and a white-haired gal is in the midst of lots of xeric gardening in the backyard! I will ask Audrey to take a picture. Just lots of mulch and rock at the moment… Troy has been loving mushroom foraging here. How cool that you’ve found a meet-up. Good luck with the condo! I hope NH cabin life is good for your family.


      1. My friend Suz has moved back to CO. Her big dog Vasha was put down last week. Great dog very sad. Suz took a bunch of fotos with all the mulch around the property and the apple tree taken down. Might get some grass


  2. “Attachment is not synonymous with connection. I can let go and love. I can leave and remain.”

    This… so powerful. So freeing. So huge. So full of possibilities! Your joy overflows the page and fills me!


  3. This post fills me with such joy! I know the move east (and leaving Audrey behind) was nerve-wracking, but it sounds like you’ve all gotten to a good place, where you’ve learned that you can take that sense of being *at home* with you.


  4. So much happiness here! And such a great perspective. Just yesterday my husband said we’d probably live another 10 years in our home and the thought of what will come next didn’t scare me. Corny but…home IS where the heart is.


    1. I just thought those words EXACTLY, Patty! It’s funny–when we bought our first house (and stayed in it for 20+ years), we moved in and I thought, “I’ll never, ever leave this house.” I felt I ‘owed it’ to my kids to keep the house they grew up in…to come back to with their own families one day. When we moved in to our current house, I said to Troy, “I give us about 10 years here.” Oh, how time can change things!


  5. That part about home is just how I felt this summer back in Yorkshire, how I felt in Wales with my Aunt and cousin, and how I feel about here in the biggest town I ever lived in. All are home. Your daughter by the way is so pretty, and clever from the sound of it, you must be very proud and rightly so.


    1. It sounds like we’ve had a *very* similar’ sense of home lately! I had anticipated much grief around giving up the actual house–I think I truly believed that ‘home’ was tangible, And while it certainly CAN be, that’s not ALL it is… And thank you for your compliments to Audrey. xo


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