I've come home. Come from home as well, as the lesson learned from this recent away mission is "Home is where they hold you in their hearts."
Doesn't matter if you have roots there, or a hat rack, or anything else at all...
I've not always been much of a "people person" and most of the places I have lived, even for a protracted period, there were few if any people-ties to the the place. Most often there had been one or maybe two with whom I connected for a time but then moved on, as did I. Usually it was the PLACE that spoke to me, as it was Down East NC where I first got there.
But then I met the folks, in a place where "they say" the folks don't much take to newcomers... those "from off" as they say. But over and over I heard it said that I was the kind of "dingbatter" (another local term for those from elsewhere) they needed more of. Honestly I appreciated the compliment, as I try to appreciate the uniqueness of each place I have lived, refrain from the "where I come from..." comments and from trying to make that place just like everywhere else. But I didn't realize the depth or .. not sure what the word is I want... of the connection to the people until this weekend, when I was "welcomed home" with open arms and more heartfelt hugs that I have had in a long time.
It felt a little strange, as I don't normally go back to places I have lived. Only once have I been back to the town where I was born and raised for 16 years, and that was about 5 yrs ago... but driving down east, visiting folks and doing business almost felt like I had never left. My hands still knew every bend in the road that winds through the marshes from North River to Davis Shore and off to Harksers Island. My role as the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center paparazza seems to be as expected at the event as the Sweet Puppies (sweetened hush puppies dredged in powdered sugar) and scallop fritters and the "rack of the eye" skiff that the local fellows build each year over the course of the festival, to be auctioned off as a Museum fundraiser.
And yet, I am glad to be back, for my roots are here. I put myself to sleep each night doing a walk around the perimeter of Hearthfire Hill in my mind -- North and East and South and West. And I discovered that while I loved BEING there, I totally detest GETTING there. I no longer enjoy long road trips and flying has lost its appeal as well. Perhaps being on small commuter planes was part of it and perhaps the level to which air travel has sunk contributed. I know I am jolly sick and tired of schlepping my laptop and carpet bag up and down stairs and across the tarmac -- and too darn OLD for all those stairs and heavy stuff to boot. I don't sleep well when I am away and didn't manage to eat right either nor did I drink sufficient water.
But I am home -- where my roots are home -- again and there is snow on the ground, a tree in the living room, lights to go up outside tomorrow if the wind will cooperate and numerous projects awaiting my attention. But tonight a soaking bath, and my own bed are calling.
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