The sun is setting after a long day. From where I sit at my desk, it appears to have already disappeared below the treeline, yet I can still see that the top of the tall sugar maple is aglow with the last of the sun’s rays. Insects hum outside as a lone car ambles down the dirt road, and the air stirs, rustling the leaves of the ancient maple. They dance, and the day slowly dies.
Today is my ninth day at home. Like each day since I have returned, I feel lucky to be here. My restless soul, weary with travel, tries to embrace being home as best I can. But the world happens faster than I do, and I find little time to rest.
My life is a whirlwind. I long for a pause button, a chance to stop the clock, to sit and just be. It happens so quickly, and I fear I miss too much of it. Even though I know I can’t possibly do all the things I want to do, I still try to do them anyway, knowing full well that it is a fool’s game and winning is impossible.
I’m not even sure I know what winning would be.
Home feels so good to me right now. I remember not too long ago when home was an imaginary place. During my first semester at Antioch, I achieved the impressive feat of bringing many in my class to tears, myself included, when I realized that I belonged no where in particular and for me, home didn’t actually exist. How could I have a home when my heart was pulled in so many different directions and I felt more fragmented than whole?
I’m happy to reveal that I don’t feel that way any more. I’ve found my home, and it may be the best feeling ever. Now the places and people from where I live are a rich and vital part of me. When I started making my rounds last week to visit friends I had not seen in two months, the words “welcome home” accompanied with warm hugs rivaled the most heartfelt “I love you” ever whispered to me by a loved one.
Every morning I wake up feeling lucky to be back. For the first time this year I am home without plans to leave. I don’t know when I’ll next step foot on a plane or put a new stamp in my passport, and I love that feeling. I love that my next adventures are likely to be day long climbing trips with friends or weekend excursions to the mountains or seacoast. New England may not have 19,000 foot peaks or thousand year old temples, but to me, it’s the most beautiful, charming, and culturally rich place on earth. Isn’t that what home should be?
I feel very lucky and fortunate to have been able to travel as I have, and to have had opportunities to explore and adventure all over the world. How could I not feel privileged to have straddled the Equator or seen Everest with my own eyes? Yet after two months on the road, I am more overjoyed to be back in the place I love most with the people I love most than I have been to visit any destination I have yet been to this year. It feels nothing short of magical.
There truly is no place like home.