"A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it." --George Augustus Moore
After spending four very full weeks in my homeland of Upstate New York I am finding that it's my return to our little urban apartment that is proving satiating. After staying with family for the most of our travels--and renting a tiny cabin outside Hudson, NY for just five nights--I walked into our apartment like a stranger. A happy stranger. And as I continued to settle my son into sleep that night, pull apart our suitcases and make various piles, carefully unwrap the few purchases that made it into our luggage, and then begrudgingly begin sorting the laundry--I felt like I was a guest in my own home.
I kept noticing things just where I wanted them to be--the baby spoons had their place in the silverware drawer, the teas were stacked neatly inside the cupboard, the scissors and pencils and pens were just where I thought they should be atop my noticeably large and sturdy desk. The blanket on the back of the couch was lovingly worn and big enough to cover two adults without any body's toes sticking out from the bottom. The jewelry all had its place. The knickknacks were quirky and often handmade or vintage. And the colors, textures, patterns, and mismatch of furniture reflected my sensibility past, current, or future. In other words, it looks like me.
If I had my way I'd be in two places at once: Rooted firmly in an old farmhouse in Upstate New York and happily dwelling in my urban Oakland, California. But in the interim I think the fullness of our long trip east was best punctuated by our return home. The bustling trip with family and friends was a welcome change from our work lives in Oakland--filling us with old stories, deepening known connections, and the particular familiarity that comes with childhood landscapes, physical remembrance, and the palpable saturation of memory from revisiting childhood spaces. I like to think the land holds memory and we are triggered with certain sensations only when we visit. It floods us. In a good sense.
Well, hello, California. It feels good to be home.