Home is such an interesting idea. People make homes in all kind of ways. In giant, overwhelming, sprawling structures, that go mostly unused and force people to live beyond their means. In small, modest, comfy, old houses full of dust and history. In cars, in boats, on the street and in the forest and by the beach. In people or all alone, with 5 cats or 2 dogs, with children and parents. Home can be both a place and a feeling. A belonging. A sense that you are safe and you have all you need. Every person you ask will have a different definition of "home" and their answers will change over time.
Goldie, quickly and comfortably, easily, became home. And although the location and the landscapes, the temperatures and the wildlife changed, I was safe and had all that I needed. How swiftly I forgot the things I left behind, the material things, the fear, the bad habits and mundane life tasks that I had previously allowed to suck so much of my energy.
I knew that returning to Austin would be challenging, for many reasons. The speed and blankness with which most people move through their days is something that I am reluctant to return to. It was easy, and quick and meaningful to find the quiet and the peacefulness in my travels. To unplug. From my phone, from technology, from the clock and become immersed in the nature and the cities we visited. To live in moments, instead of schedules. I find myself clinging to this idea. Unready to re-join the world of hustlers who are working, moving, filling time and space with the to-do's. And yet, I must. On the road, full of inspiration, it was clear and easy for me to plan and get excited about the projects I'd embark on when I returned. But now I find it overwhelming, daunting, hard to take the first steps.
Ive experienced several clarifying moments, since my return. Tiny winks from the universe, reminders not to lose the magic. One in the form of an older gentleman, who approached me in HEB, using my baseball cap, which displayed "Republic, OHIO" on its front, a cap which I have lost & found and has a history all its own, to strike up a conversation. He was overly friendly, someone I may have normally blown off, or tried to move quickly away from, too busy, to distracted, to closed off to talk to. This time, however, on my first trip to the grocery store since my return, overwhelmed by the number of people around me, the loudness, feeling like I couldn't remember what I needed, I stopped. I talked. I shared my feelings and stories of my trip and stories about Ohio with a man whose name I didn't know, who was simply being kind and connecting me back to the world around me - which is in fact, people, the same way it is nature. And 20 minutes later, I left the canned vegetable aisle, feeling calmer. Renewed. Focused once more on what is truly important, connecting. People. Ideas. Not trying to be an island.
So now I am here, in this time and in this space and home is re-defined once more as I [still] unpack and settle back into life in Austin. Territory un-mapped, without hectic schedules or hours or paychecks. Just my own, wide open road (where I unfortunately can't call AAA on days I may break down). I am equally oozing with ideas, enthusiasm and excitement and at the same time desperately searching for a warm dark hole to hide in. Working on that balance. Telling the fear to shut the hell up. Good thing both of my homes come with a Franzia tap.
[For the record, I have mostly unpacked, but there are some little things that havent made their way to where they belong, this is my tiny way of thinking I am somehow more prepared to run again, if necessary.]
Love from home,
PS. In an attempt to humor my sister and her new favorite nickname for me, #stayathomemom, here are a hundred pictures of a kitten. I quickly fell for this little guy, who I found in a tree a few days after we arrived home. He's a cryer and snuggler and a relentless beggar for human food. He's playful and curious and jumps on anything in his path like a tiny jungle cat. And now has been passed on to someone who can love him without sneezing.
Ok, but seriously can you blame me for almost becoming a cat lady?!