Today is February 27, and my dad would turn 86 if life had not decided otherwise.
Today is February 27 and I am just a few days away from the 180 day mark.
I don't think the two are related, but I could not say for sure that they are not.
I left my little island cottage last September 1st. I remember turning back and waving at my cat, my backpack already in the truck.
I knew so little of what was to come.
I had some anchor points: a Retreat in Italy in September and two Retreats in Mexico in February. February feeling as though it was years away. In between? An AirBnb reservation in a small village Tuscany, which turned out to be not quite what I envisioned.
Other than that? A blank slate. A big, beautiful, scary blank slate.
After the Retreat in Italy, I started shedding my friends, the people who know my heart. A little bit at a time, they all left. By November 1st, it was me and my backpack.
It's been big. It's been humbling. It's been exciting.
Over the course of the last six months, I have made many new friends (lost one, too - not by death), have seen how both strong and fragile I am. I have eaten weird food, and dispelled some old preconceived notions. I have learned to become deeply comfortable in situations that would have intimidated the heck out of me last year. I have learned some things about me that I would like to change a bit. I have met some parts of me that I want to tend and grow. I have learned, also, that unless I use my Super Power to make someone's day a bit better, I could die.
I have learned that home is in my heart and in the heart of people I love.
I have seen that joy does not get snuffed easily.
I have witnessed how courageous human beings can be.
And now, it's time to go home and melt into love hugs. To catch up, to get moving on watering some seeds that were planted in the last few months, too. To see if my cat would consider forgiving me and no longer pooping on the floor. That sort of things.
Am I ready? I don't know. Truly, I could keep going another six months, especially if the people I love would come meet me somewhere for a bit.
It feels strange and it feels sweet.
One thing I know: I am very, very lucky to have a home to come ... home to.
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I write because this is the way I am able to taste life more deeply.