My dear friend Rachel came to meet Piper in July. She asked if there was anything from the East coast I wanted her to bring me. I couldn't think of anything but later, jokingly, in my head, thought of asking her to bring me a little bit of the Atlantic. I never did ask her.
The night she arrived, she pulled a jar filled with sand, saltwater and even some seaweed out of her suitcase. Without me telling, or asking, she knew what I missed most. Friendship is funny that way.
Everytime I walk past this jar, I'm reminded of what I left behind when I moved to the West coast. My family, some of my dearest friends, many memories (good and bad) and so much of myself I left on the East coast. I, of course, miss the people but more and more each day I miss the place.
I miss the smell, I miss the colors, I miss the seasons. I miss four o'clock on an October evening and the cool crisp air. I miss hot summer days fading into night. I miss the beach lit up by the moon. I miss fireflies and the sound of coyotes. I even miss snowstorms.
I know I need to go back. What is difficult is that I know how much this place means to Cameron and it would be asking a lot for him to leave. I love this place, too. We have made amazing friends in our time here. The Pacific Northwest has a lot to offer, too. We have access to the ocean, the mountains, the desert... leaving here will break both of our hearts a little bit. It's going to be hard to say goodbye, whenever that time comes.
I need to go back to the East coast. If I don't, if we stay here (which wouldn't be hard), my heart will forever be aching and missing the place that I love. I don't want to live my life missing anyone or thing that could be a part of my living life. It's hard enough to miss those that have passed away or to try and deal with the "I-wish-I-had's". I also know that I want my daughter to grow up on the ocean. Most of my best memories as a child involve the sea or searching the beach for shells or some sea-creatures. I'd like her to have that.
Ideally, my dream would be to drive across the country (*if* and) when we do move. There's so much of this land that I've never seen. It makes me feel good to have some sort of adventure to look forward to...even if nothing is set in stone quite yet.
With everything I just wrote, I think I need to address the word H O M E and what it means to me.
In so many ways, the meaning of 'home' was redefined for me around the age of fifteen. Under different rooftops shared with different people, my idea of home was ever-changing. Up until now, I never quite knew where to consider 'home'. Having a family of my own now, I've come to understand that 'home' isn't necessarily a place or anything you could physically touch, even. Home for me is a feeling...nothing I could even explain, really. It's a feeling that lets you know that everything is just as it should be and that everything is alright. It's a feeling that makes you feel safe and fills you with love.
And luckily, you can take it, or make it, anywhere.
|Photo credit: Matt Pensworth|