It doesn’t take much to find balance, yet it takes a decision and decisions are everything.
As I wrote in an earlier blog post, it’s been an exhausting week. Working with children as a summer camp counselor is rewarding and affirming, yet it’s also a huge learning process and humbling experience.
Being away from home this summer is also niggling on my conscience… the feel of the ocean, and the smell of the salt air seem incomprehensibly far away. Seashore-living is differently hued than mountain life. Living along the sand is clear-blue, and mermaid-green, and the color of brilliant sunsets filling a horizon untouched by anything except the rhythm of waves and sand.
Yes, the mountains are different from my roots, the ocean. The mountains are shaded. They are variants of deep purples and blues, with cascading shimmer-silver dusting their edges. They are older and permanent, while the ocean is ever-changing.
I have been missing the ocean. And the mountains, without realizing it; because of work and post-work exhaustion I haven’t been able to find my way into the mountains. I had told David on multiple evenings that I would hike Chautauqua the next day and each day I did not; it saddened me. Finally, on Friday I arrived home from work and told David, “I’m bringing Lacey to Chautauqua. I promised her.” (Which I had done that morning, and you just don’t go back on promises to dogs. They know.) “Do you want to come?”
Approximately half an hour later we were on our way.
As soon as we started walking up the main path at Chautauqua, my heart felt incredibly lighter. My feet were quick and sure; this is where I belonged. The mountain air is unbelievably pure, and it is home.
Defining home is always a learning experience. I have traveled enough in my lifetime to understand that home is transient yet permanent; I will always have a beckoning toward the ocean in Gulf Breeze, Florida yet I will always seek change and learning, thus I must make new homes elsewhere. Home is necessary, at least to me. I must create for myself a place which feels worthy of the word. In Ireland, that place became my apartment with one of my closest friends, Hania, and a few coffeeshops and cafes we frequented. In Orlando, my home was my apartment with Hania, Julia and Steph, until Steph left for New Zealand. Then I did not have a home for a while, and I noticed the difference.
Floating will occur, regardless of who you are. You will go through a time when you feel lost. If you do not, make it happen — it taught me more than I can explain. Feeling lost is a side-effect of truly living.
In Colorado, my home has become our apartment on 30th Street, with David, Lacey, Brittany our roommate, and Guinness her dog. It has become the mountains, too, perhaps even more so because they are home in a deeper, more incomprehensible way.
Breathing the mountain air, walking well-worn paths, touching trees along the way; this is home to me. For now.