Wednesday, April 25, 2012

a trip home

In a few hours, I'll hop on a plane and fly home for a few days. The build-up to this trip has been big. First, I haven't been home in more than 8 months, and that trip wasn't really home, it was to the beach town my family went to for vacations when I was growing up. That also means that I haven't seen my nieces and nephews in that long. These kids are growing so fast - I swear it was just yesterday that a nine-month old Amelia was falling asleep on my chest, and now she and her cousin Andrew are readers and writers and bonafide kindergartners! So 8 months is a long time to miss these kids. I'm just hoping they won't leave for college tomorrow (though I know it will feel that way).

Then there's the race. I've been training for 14 weeks, which equals nearly 500 miles. That's a sixth of the way home, and a whole lot of sweat, tears, cursing (well, just a little bit), failing, surviving, overcoming and (sometimes) succeeding. I have a time goal - hence the training - and though I'm not sure I'll meet it, I'm still glad that I took on a training regimen that challenged me.

And of course there's home. There's Dunkin' Donuts coffee and that mid-Atlantic accent. There's more maple instead of palm, and that way that clouds float across the sky and the smell and the feel that's just different. It's difficult to describe a place that's so innate, like trying to tell someone what the back of your hand looks like. It's just yours. There's an ease that comes with this familiarity, but also a slight ache when you realize the home you're looking for isn't actually there because it's not just a place, it's a time and a feeling and it's people who have moved on and changed. But I'll always still be grasping for it, looking for it, while I sit and watch and drink my coffee.

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