A year ago today, I was about to leave my home for six months. The backpack I had borrowed from my daughter felt like a strange and cumbersome turtle shell, and I was looking forward to a quick stop at REI where someone would hopefully show me a few tricks on how to wear that thing more comfortably.
I knew my first stop: Italy for a Retreat. I knew my last stop: Mexico for two Retreats. In between? mostly a row of question marks.
My home was taken care of. My cat had a temporary human. I had a plan for my bills to get paid. And a huge backpack. And a bunch of question marks.
Before walking out of my bedroom, I left myself a note on the freshly made bed that would await me: Welcome home. And a little heart. I was not sure who would be reading that note. Me, most likely. But who would I be? And what if I did not make it back and someone else read that note?
A year later, with my insides rearranged a bit, my heart both slightly tougher and much more vulnerable, having walked the Greek streets that my ancestors walked, with a pretty good Italian accent and a sense of worship for olive oil, I don't want to go anywhere. I want to stay home and ... be. I want to sink into a routine and smell the fall air. I want to be home, a calmer home than the home of the big swirl of summer.
And yet. I know that there is another backpack waiting for me in my future. A much smaller one because I have learned how little I really need. There are people peppered all over the world and in Greece in particular that I will want to go hug.
Life and its invitations are so darn sweet.
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I write because this is the way I am able to taste life more deeply.