For the first time in a while, and the last time in a long time, I am, quite simply, home.
I noticed this when writing the tags for this post. My time (2015) and my place (Mountain Home), and not only that but the place which has always been my place, even as my world has expanded, gradually and all at once, over the last five years.
I wrote several months ago that the journey began with my family’s weekend jaunt to Oregon for my cousin’s graduation, if it began slowly. From there, a classic family drive through the eternities which are Montana and North Dakota, visiting family in Minnesota, to little Denmark, to beloved little Sweden, to several extra airports on the way home, to my little desert hometown with the roar of the Interstate for backdrop.
I am thinking tonight of more than one night.
The night at my uncle’s farm in Oregon with the stars and the pines.
The night in Wayzata looking out over the lake as the sunset grew fierier.
The first night at Skovsøen as the loons called across the lake and I looked forward to a beautiful hardworking summer.
The last night of Sjölunden, lying on the dock with Helena, counting the shooting stars.
Last Tuesday, sitting in Sam’s arms for the first time in two months, watching the fire die in my backyard.
And tonight, by some gift of circumstance, with Derek and Hannah, in the town that has belonged to all of us all our formative years, with the same sunset and same interstate roar and same late-summer chill in the twilight air we have all always known, before we go our ways to lead our lives, and only our history keeps us together, but certainly it is enough.
“There’s nothing out here to be afraid of, not in this little city on this quiet night.” – John Green
Our little city, our quiet night. Remembering the last time we three were all together. Failing. God knows how long it’s been.
We got shakes at Grinde’s, like we’ve done many times before. We snuck over to West Elementary and made use of their swings, like Derek and I have done before. And to the end we sat on a bench by the brown belt in the gathering twilight as the Interstate roared past us and our moments froze in time.
“Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.” – Mary Schmich
It was just like when we were kids – and yet I do not feel old.
I almost feel like I should have felt that way all my high school years – but I am not disappointed that I am feeling it now. Youth is wasted on the young(er), but in this small instance I am lucky.
In only a few days I will be off and away to the greatest adventure I have yet attempted, but I am grateful, I am drowning in the love of this small oasis in my home desert. The calm before a majestic storm.
“The people who love you are waiting, and they’ll wait just as long as need be/When we’ll look back and say those were halcyon days, we’re talking ’bout jubilee” – Mary Chapin Carpenter
I love, therefore I am.
Halcyon days, these.