The first part of her to feel home was her feet – her soles recognized the familiar way the wood felt both cool and warm, sticky and smooth. As she put her feet to the floor in the morning, from the bed, from the room she used to own, she felt what it feels to be home and not home.
She’d been gone six months. After 30 years in this one location on the globe, six months felt like a blink, a yawn. She had to keep reminding herself that she was just visiting, and not returning home. Her body fell right back into the rhythm of New York – the thickness of the summer air that softens skin and to-do lists. The sharp quick tongues and furrowed brows of passersby. The freedom of un-sleeved arms under the night-time haze of city lights. The shuffles and strides to board trains and edge around passing cars, grasping at the seconds, efforting to hoard time in this city of “never enough.”
She had to remind her eyes that they were just visiting. That what they were seeing, so commonplace, was no longer commonplace, that this may be the last. The last time they rest over the skyline of jersey, lady liberty, and the empire state from her tree-top perch. The last time they soften focus in the warmth of purple living room walls. The last time this version of familiarity translates into the definition of home.
There is grief in longing for the past. Their is longing in loving where you’ve come from. There is gratitude in being able to feel that love. There is wonder in being able to finally come from a place of gratitude. After 30 years of struggle, of “never enough,” of shuffling in the right direction and striding sideways, of grasping, of efforting, what a wondrous thing to hold it all in gratitude.
august 2, 2013