Coming home. I can travel for months and keep my zest for discovery alive and well. But as my departure for home draws near, there is some amount of fondness for the home hearth that starts to burn. With only a day to go, I start to yearn for my bed and my place in the world. On my departure day, I am hoping all is as I remember it. I love the U.S.A.
Arriving at the airport, it’s the same sense of awe and humility. Strangely charmed by electric lights and good plumbing. Orderly, while anything goes, unleashes endless possibilities. Hoping to hold on to this wonder and resist taking it all for granted. A sense of competency seeps into my soul as I realize I am very familiar with the currency and know the prices. Generally, these are the perceptions and sensations that greet me.
When this solo traveler arrives home to her solo world, what does she do? I run around looking to see that my car is still safe and sound on the city street where I left it. TOYOTA! It’s not just the metal vehicle on wheels, but all the freedom to drive on the open road, that prompts me to rejoice. Upon unlocking my apartment’s front door, I sometimes marvel at the furnishings. After I put down my bags, I return outside and walk a couple of blocks to get some groceries. Fresh bread and cold milk are essentials where I’m from. I make some tea and reflect.
Early the next morning, I am at work again, marveling at how so little changes. The voicemail and emails take time. Having prepared task lists saves me from having to reconsider where I am on each project. I start my dietary regimen and it’s not bad at all. My daily trips to the gym help me unwind. The gym is something I don’t notice I’m missing until I return home. I drink better wine at home too.
At home, I force myself to open my luggage so it won’t remain waiting to be unpacked for the next month. The closets of clothes can be overwhelming after six weeks of rolls pulled from a tightly packed bag. Forgotten footwear options now seem superfluous. Over coffee, just the way I like it, I reacquaint myself with various window views. I delight over the junk mail. So home is good, but quiet. Not even a gold fish awaits me there. But that’s OK.
The first chance I get, I make time to visit the local museum of natural history. I walk up the stairs, pause at the bird nests, continue up to the third floor, and walk past the huge turtle shell. I take a few measured breaths, always preparing for the worst. (Relationships are never fully within our control.) I see it! I am always relieved to find my favorite dinosaur skeleton, still there and waiting for me. If that is not love, what is?
Buy it. Read it. (Or listen to it.) Let me know what you think. –TMLL